To be excellent at something is a precipitous thing. On the one hand you are untouchable, unimpeachable, literally the best. You win the awards and legions of people you’ve never met love you. On the other hand you’ve probably missed out on a slew of life milestones in your relentless pursuit. In many physically-demanding practices you have to decide at a very young age whether you want to pursue greatness, because, if you’re setting out to be the best gymnast or ballet dancer at sixteen, well, you’re probably out of luck.
Meg Duffy, the artist who performs as Hand Habits, is fortunate to not only be exceptionally gifted at playing the guitar, but to have had that gift realized after their chance to be a young prodigy had come and gone. When they picked up the guitar at seventeen, Duffy has said “I felt like I understood it in a way. I picked it up really fast.” That ability has taken them from a claustrophobic adolescence in upstate New York to being the touring guitarist for Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Kevin Morby.