Hand Habits—aka singer-songwriter, guitarist and sought-after session musician Meg Duffy—released their second folk-rock full-length, placeholder, earlier this year. placeholder was one of Paste’s best albums of March, and now Duffy and friends are offering an opportunity to hear one of its standout tracks, “wildfire,” anew. “wildfire” was written in fall of 2017 during the rash of destructive wildfires across California, and took on new meaning for Duffy in light of the fires devastating the Amazon rainforest. Angel Olsen, Lomelda, Kacey Johansing, Tara Jane O’Neil, and John Andrews & The Yawn have each covered the song for a benefit compilation, Wildfire Covers, with all profits going to the Amazon Conservation Association.
Lomelda’s cover is available now over at Bandcamp, where Hand Habits and Saddle Creek have launched a vinyl fundraising campaign with three pledge levels: $30 for the record, $50 for a record signed by Duffy (limited to 50) and $70 for a signed test pressing. If you want to hear the rest, you can preorder the digital album for $10 and/or make a contribution: Once the fundraising goal ($6,117) is reached, vinyl will be pressed and the full EP will be available exclusively on Bandcamp.
In a statement, Duffy explained their motivations behind the benefit EP:
Being a touring musician 8 months out of the year, you are exposed to a lot of varying degrees of climate change effects in a short period of time. From the gasoline that’s used to fuel touring vehicles, to the massive amount of plastic waste at the end of every show, to the carbon emissions released into the air by all the travel, it’s often not the most environmentally conscious career. I wanted to contribute, even if in a small way, to the efforts at work by the people at the Amazon Conservation Association for being dedicated to preserving such a vast and heartbreakingly crucial part of our ecosystem that has been threatened by wildfires, deforestation, and the effects of climate change. I believe that writing and performing music can be a healing force, used for good, and not always for capitalizing on emotions and commodifying a personality or lifestyle. People need to be able to relate to each other, in times of joy, and especially in times of sorrow or struggle. The Wildfire Compilation, in partnership with Bandcamp and Saddle Creek, will be donating all of it’s funds raised to the ACA in hopes to lend a helping hand to those on the front lines of fighting climate change in places that may seem inaccessible to those of us unable to travel at length. I chose 5 artists, Tara Jane O’Neil, Lomelda, John Andrews, Angel Olsen, and Kacey Johansing to interpret and cover my song “wildfire” that I wrote during the California Wildfires in 2017. All of these artists are dear friends and have all taught me a lot about the complexity of emotions in music.
Listen to Lomelda’s rendition of “wildfire” here, and don’t miss Hand Habits’ September Paste Studio session below.