Singer/songwriter Meg Duffy, aka Hand Habits, has shared another song from their forthcoming dirt EP, due out Feb. 19 on Saddle Creek. Duffy’s rendition of Neil Young’s “I Believe in You,” off the rock legend’s 1970 album After the Gold Rush, follows their dirt A-side, “4th of july,” which was released upon the EP’s announcement in January.
In its original form, “I Believe in You” is a loping, acoustic guitar-forward folk-rock track, elevated by Young’s singular vocals and accented by honky-tonk piano. Hand Habits’ cover is more stark and atmospheric, with crackling, sometimes-twangy electric guitar, rumbling and moody percussion, a persistent synth hum and sporadic off-kilter keys. “Now that you made yourself love me / Do you think I can change it in a day? / How can I place you above me? / Am I lying to you when I say / That I believe in you?” sings Duffy, later adding a refrain: “I don’t even know her.”
Duffy co-produced their new EP alongside Sasami Ashworth and Kyle Thomas (King Tuff), with the former taking the lead on “4th of july” and the latter on “I Believe in You”—and it sounds like we may hear more from this particular trio in the future. dirt is the first Hand Habits release since 2019’s placeholder, which Paste ranked among that year’s best albums, praising “Duffy’s sweet harmonies and lyrical meditations on queer relationships and the deep human complexities that can make or break any type of relationship.”
dirt finds Hand Habits “exploring themes of growth and finding ways to let go of the parts of their past that no longer serve them,” per a press release, and “illuminates Duffy’s attempts to evolve beyond the confines of their past.” Its three tracks include “4th of july,” “i believe in you” and a remix of placeholder’s “what’s the use” by Katie Dey.
Listen to Hand Habits’ “I Believe in You” cover below and revisit their 2019 Paste Studio session further down. You can preorder the dirt EP right here.