It's becoming trickier to determine what History Month Jeff Meff will honor next. With "Staring At My Hands," you'll forgive him for that -- although with his latest venture, you can see familiar indecision running in parallel with his changing name.
Released as a joint EP with Dust From 1000 Years, Famous Cigarettes showcases the subtle talents of Meff; another song to look at is "Thank God For The Ground." Well written, but lo-fi in places, Bad History Month appears to have the perfect anti-folk formula.
There's certainly a lot to admire about the construction of "Staring At My Hands," throwing new stuff at you all the time, but always a step away from a fuzzy bassline. Meff appears to have perfected creating an atmosphere right from the beginning of the song, and the solitary repeated note could be taken straight from a film score.
Changing frequently between clean and distorted guitar, there's a sense of split personality running throughout the song, and it's constantly interesting to hear.
Particular delight can be taken in the piano line that appears midway through, purely for the speed at which everything dies away, leaving Meff's voice sharing a stage with silence and some keys. When he raises himself above his gruff tones, his voice is just as convincing, possessing a new-found clarity.
There are other small moments on this track that will grab your ears and make you listen, including the extended cymbal roll, getting the tension just right, and the sudden doubling up of vocals. What's so good about this is that there are two different people two different images within this song, but they both manage to appeal to the listener in equal measure.