April 11, 2013

EP: Hand Habits - Pinky Demos

Hand Habits is the soundtrack to winters upstate.

Winters in Upstate New York are colder, longer, and filled with more sweaters and runny noses than you can imagine. When it's below zero, people shrug and tell you to stop complaining. The daylight of each day is short but the winter season stretches on for what seems like forever. There is a lot of open space, rolling fields, old houses, gray skies, hot tea, darkness, time. Hearts ache, people drink in silence, life feels like its ending and beginning at the same time. But at the heart of this emptiness, there is something so warm, tender, real, and hard to put into words. Except Hand Habits does. And it's no wonder – the band's five demos were recorded on Delaware Avenue in Albany, New York. When I listen to Hand Habits, I imagine Delaware Avenue as a street inside of a snow globe, littered with small aluminum-paneled homes and plain looking people. And then there's Hand Habits. I imagine that they are the only ones glowing like fireflies amongst all of the grayness.

Pinky Demos is an incredibly private homemade collection. We appreciate their honestly like we do in songs by other confessional bedroom artists (R.L. Kelly, Infinity Crush, Whatever Dad). Lost love or lonely days, Hand Habits holds back nothing in their dear diary-like recordings. "It Doesn't Matter" addresses the ominous "you" and everything "you" were: a walk in the park, a shot in the dark, a day spent asleep. In the end, lead vocalist Meagan Duffy tells us it doesn't really matter, but it's hard to know if we should believe her. If this didn't make you cry, "Bloom" is also incredibly sad. Meagan echoes dreamy cooes in a cave of quiet ambiance "I spend too much time alone / nobody calls me on the phone" and later "if your hearts not human then I can't break it." Hand Habits tells a story with each of the Pinky Demos, and this heartbreaking one might end on a hopeful note because we can see springtime at the end of the tunnel.


Listen to more Hand Habits on bandcamp.

Written by Diana Cirullo