Hand Habits (real name Meg Duffy)’s upcoming album Placeholder is one of the most anticipated new releases of 2019. The singles Duffy has released from the record so far, “Placeholder” and “Can’t Calm Down,” glow with Duffy’s contemplative songwriting and warm, thoughtful voice.
Duffy has shared a romantic new track from Placeholder just in time for Valentine’s Day. “What Lovers Do” is slow and sultry, pinpointing the tantalizing and tempting qualities of love. Duffy’s description of love is tied up in evil and danger — falling into it like the “devil caught you way off guard.” Desire is a fire, equally life-giving and uncontrollable. The relationship Duffy describes sounds pretty tumultuous, but the song is gentle and slow, observing the fire from a distance. Love is twisting, constantly in flux, and more complicated than words can describe, but Duffy sn’t afraid to dive into the paradoxes.
The visuals for the song, directed by Alexa Viscius, are shot like vignettes on strips of film. Duffy and several characters wander and search, as memories drift in and out of frame. The characters almost connect a few times, but drift apart and into their own square again. Like the song, it’s a simple but poetic exploration of connection (and disconnect) with others.
Hand Habits’ new record Placeholder is due out on March 1 via Saddle Creek. Pre-order it here, and check out the video for “What Lovers Do” above.