Hand It Over is the debut of Boston-based duo Neck. Incorporating elements of alternative folk and electronic music, Neck breathes a crisp air of new life into the respective styles. In addition to effortless vocal control throughout the EP, Kira McSpice demonstrates a creative approach to guitar-driven composition, embellished by Bailey’s contrapuntal bass melodies and complementary synthesizer work. The group makes potent yet tasteful use of the oft-forgotten Suzuki Omnichord as well as ornately placed field recordings and samples. The addition of the duos strikingly airtight string arrangements forms a key musical signature throughout their work.
These songs each have their own deeply personal meanings to both members, elegant yet strung together by their grim subject matter. “Puzzle Factory” reflects on the experience of institutionalization and the issues of treatment and stigmas associated with mental health. Haunting echoes of footsteps and unfamiliar foley create the psychological landscape of an institutionalized patient, resolving with a peaceful yet uneasy melancholy of the ending looped phrase. “Baited” takes the perspective of being drugged without consent, slowly building & gradually decaying into a densely layered nightmare. Recorded just a few months after the band’s formation, Hand it Over serves as an introduction to the group’s capabilities while also presenting a sense of musical maturity.