Posts Tagged ‘Half Waif’

Half Waif Mirah

Half Waif has recorded a rendition of Mirah’s “Murphy Bed.” The cover will appear on a tribute album accompanying the 20th anniversary reissue of Mirah’s debut LP “You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This” (out July 31 via Double Double Whammy). Listen to Half Waif’s version of the song, as well as the remastered original by Mirah, below.

“It was a huge honour to record a cover for the legendary Mirah in celebration of this 20th anniversary reissue,” Half Waif’s Nandi Rose said of her recording.

I chose “Murphy Bed” because I could immediately hear the chorus being reimagined as a more choral-focused arrangement. There’s also something obviously sensual about this song lyrically, so I wanted to play that up with the slow backbeat and just have some fun with it. I’m really grateful to Mirah for her fearless song-writing, and I loved getting to interpret that with my own arrangement.

You Think It’s Like This But Really It’s Like This was originally released in 2000 by K Records. In addition to a remastered version of the original album (co-produced by Phil Elverum), the tribute album features covers by Mount Eerie (“Of Pressure”), Shamir, Sad13, Allison Crutchfield, Hand Habits, Palehound, Flock of Dimes, Mal Blum, WHY?, and many others.

the 20th Anniversary Reissue of “You Think It’s Like This, But Really It’s Like This” including a covers compilation. Available July 31st on Double Double Whammy.

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Half Waif Nandi Rose is on her own again, and three songs into her forthcoming album “The Caretaker”, the singer, songwriter and producer declares her fearlessness: “Baby don’t worry about me, I don’t worry about you.” Here, on “Ordinary Talk,” Rose meditates on the heaviness of ordinary moments, the constellation of tears and chores and self-doubt and small talk that comprise being a person, accompanied by her most cinematic, pulsing arrangements to date. It’s an apt introduction to The Caretaker, an ax-lbum that negotiates the space between working alone and with others, between isolation and connection. The result is her boldest work yet. Over the course of eleven songs, Rose creates the lush world of a humid summer night, dreaming of and reaching for a season in which she is her “best self.”

Nandi Rose’s music has expanded from bucolic soundscapes into icier portraits. On 2014’s Kotekan and 2016’s Probable Depths, Rose’s strings, pianos and powerful mezzo-soprano provided an appropriately plaintive background for her ruminations on distance and personal growth. For 2017’s boxy form/a EP and 2018’s grief-stricken Lavender, she embraced synths that resembled icicles falling onto a patio and shattering—an element previously scattered, but not placed front and center, throughout her work—in service of songs as thoughtfully composed as they were towering and immediate. Rose’s Lavender follow-up The Caretaker is smaller in scale.

The album often resembles a reversion to her sparser early work and away from the cavernous jolts of her more recent output. As Rose embraces her craft’s most hermit-like aspects, she consolidates her long time fascinations with change and disconnectedness into grim portraits of whom she becomes when she doesn’t maintain her closest relationships and properly tend to (the ever-marketable art of) self-care. Understandably, The Caretaker’s stories are often not pretty sights, even if the music always is. On “Blinking Light,” a synth-pop ballad that flows like a gentle stream, Rose describes circling the drain and leaving texts unread, and though the image of a neglectful Rose is bleak, the song’s slow glide toward her belting away her agony is equally somber and invigorating. Throughout “In August,” she looks back despondently on the fallout of a once-strong companionship: “I have lost your friendship / What does that say about me?” As pillowy synths burst into a mournful geyser of sound, the track takes on a rejuvenating air.

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Half Waif is singer-songwriter Nandi Rose. Her new album The Caretaker, her first for ANTI-Records, is named for a fictional character, “someone who has been entrusted with taking care of this estate, taking care of the land, and she’s not doing a very good job,” Rose said. “The weeds are growing everywhere, and she’s not taking care of herself.” Check out Half Waif’s “Halogen 2” video. The last album was so much about protecting myself – facing the night, bearing teeth and howling, shutting down an apocalypse, all so I could contain my world and build a fragrant shelter. I asked to be buried in the mother’s arms. But then I read Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, and I felt it change my life. My shelter was here all along, in the embrace of the weeping pine and the scalloped leaves who wave to me in the wind. I have never felt so at home. And now it is time to be a mother and a caretaker, to nourish myself by opening my heart to others, to all people – human, plant, animal, everything endowed with the spark of life and the will to survive.

Growing up means better understanding what you need. For me, right now, that’s a sweet summer of being a nobody, humble before the fierce kindness of these trees.

With a new album that was scheduled out on March 27th, I had lined up a New York release show and a subsequent North American headline tour—shows that had been in the works since last fall. This is my first record since signing with a new label, ANTI-Records, and I’d been banking on these headline shows (my first in over a year and biggest to date) to help build momentum around the release. Instead I spent an afternoon last week deleting all the events from my Google calendar one by one, feeling something crumble with every click. Disappointment made visual: this won’t happen, and this, and this. Entire blocks of colors disappeared, leaving behind a blank gray grid. What was worse was breaking the news to my band members and touring crew, knowing they were counting on these shows for income. Of course it wasn’t anything I could control, but it’s still devastating to know that the domino effect of this dismantling machine means we all fall down.

“Clouds Rest” by Half Waif from the album ‘The Caretaker,’ available now

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Nandi Rose has shared this synthy mood piece from her upcoming Half Waif album The Caretaker which is out March 27 via ANTI-Records . “‘Halogen 2′ is a song about isolation and the search for strength,” says Nandi. “The halogens are some of the most reactive elements on the periodic table, and in this song, winter and a life alone in the country are like halogen: an unrelenting force that produces change. I wrote this song at home in Upstate New York last March at a time when my sense of isolation was at its height. And yet I’ve always been someone who loves my alone time, so there was a sense of shame that I couldn’t handle it this time. I needed to tell myself and anyone witnessing my restlessness: ‘Don’t misunderstand, I do what I must.’ Nearly a year after writing the song, we shot most of the music video in the same location: my house and yard. The two opposing feelings presented by the verses and choruses are represented visually in the Blue World of cold, stagnant country life and the Orange World of the unfettered, fiery strength that lies beneath.

“Halogen 2” by Half Waif from the album ‘The Caretaker,’ available March 27th

Absence sounds like cacophony on Lavender. Nandi Rose Plunkett wrote her third album in the wake of her grandmother’s death. That loss, compacted with a rigorous touring schedule which made it feel like there was no real place she could call home, influences the wandering and foreboding atmosphere that inhabits Lavender. Plunkett utilizes snapping beats and dramatic piano flourishes to ground her celestial pop songs. All of the anger and frustration that simmers beneath the surface makes these songs sound claustrophobic, but also endlessly beautiful and cathartic.

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This album is so lyrically compelling and touching in so many ways. The careful composition of each song is beautifully crated. Every track is unique  ‘Lavender’ really displays Half Waif’s musical talent. This album is also such a treat to see performed live. Nandi Rose Plunkett is an extremely expressive and fun performer it makes you see the songs in a whole new light.

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Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio Half Waif released their Cascine Records debut album Lavender in April. It’s about love, legacy and the inevitable decline of human existence. The album’s closer “Ocean Scope” ties up loose ends after 11 songs filled with talk of endings.

The band has released a lavender-tinted music video for the song with a dawn-to-dusk transformation of lead singer Nandi Rose Plunkett. “The video starts and ends on a salt marsh, where the land meets the ocean,” Plunkett said of the video in a statement. “What happens in the night in between is a spiritual reverie, a walk through the ego and revisiting of past selves.”

To match this transformation, we see Plunkett wade into the water before transitioning to a run through the forest with war paint-like makeup. The purples hues intensify as the video soldiers on until Plunkett has a startling awakening back on the marsh in the pastel hue of the early morning.

Half Waif brims over with sounds: underwater echoes of Celtic melodies; mossy, blinking electronic soundscapes; the ultra- sad chord changes of 19th-century art music; and eternal, unending bhajans. A finely crafted glass menagerie of song…

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I keep replaying the Keep It Out Video on youtube and continue to be intrigued by the feelings and new intricate details that I had missed previously. a song to be cherished on it’s own but the visuals of the video and messages its speaks to me adds depth and layers to the sounds I am not sure I would have appreciated as much otherwise. definetley feeling the ” magic contact” both audio and artistically visually with the video.

Half Waif are:

Vocals & keys: Nandi Rose Plunkett
Bass & guitar: Adan Carlo
Live drums: Zack Levine

released April 27th, 2018

Songs written by Nandi Rose Plunkett
Produced & arranged by Nandi Rose Plunkett with Adan Carlo & Zack Levine

Half Waif, Lavender

Brooklyn songwriter Nandi Rose Plunkett leads the exquisite folk-pop trio Half Waif, whose new album, Lavender, arrives April 27th. Watch them perform the lovely album opener “Lavender Burning,”

Nandi Rose Plunkett is a seeker. As frontwoman of synth-pop outfit Half Waif, Plunkett writes songs that travel profoundly inward over beds of electronic instrumentation that expand and recede like ocean tides. But there is a darkness that cuts through Half Waif’s songs, hinting at a searching that is often born of loss and struggle. Lavender, the group’s latest album, centers on questions of loneliness and isolation, of the consequences of hard-fought wisdom and self-knowledge.

Half Waif has spent months on the road leading up to the album’s recording, and it shows; many of Lavender’s songs have a narrator who feels adrift, reaching towards an unattainable sense of home. “You used to say / ‘When are you coming back?’ / Then came the day / When you no longer asked,” Plunkett mourns on “Torches.” In an essay about her single “Back In Brooklyn,” a stunning piano ballad from the album, Plunkett describes how returning from tour left her feeling isolated and aching: “I was unmoored and questioning everything — not least of all my decision to forgo the stability and community I had cultivated in New York for something more ephemeral … There is a loneliness about this life that is hard to describe.”

“Back In Brooklyn” is the most unadorned of Lavender’s songs: just Plunkett’s voice and the piano (and a brief sample of a New York subway horn). It’s perhaps the only place on the record where Plunkett’s voice breaks from its classically-trained veneer: For all the impressive clarity and range she demonstrates across the record, there is something nearly heart-stopping about the way her voice cracks as she begs her listener to “listen for me now.” Her formal training shines through, too, in the careful stacks of electronic arrangements in these songs and her layers of vocal harmonies. Bandmates Adan Carlo (bass and guitar) and Zack Levine (live drums) add touches that ground and structure the songs, providing a stable base for Plunkett’s waves of synths and keyboards.

Lavender is, in many ways, an album about isolation, but its inverse threads its way into many songs; themes of connection — specifically, matrilineal connection — appear across the album. The album is named in honor of Plunkett’s grandmother, who had a habit of picking lavender from her garden to boil on the stove — a ritual of beauty, but also one of purification, Plunkett believes. On “Salt Candy,” Plunkett addresses her beloved maternal figures directly: “I was once a thousand other things now I’m not / I don’t understand why / Mother do you recognize your daughter? / Little head so full of big ideas.” There’s an ache to the song, which — like many on the album — pulls gently on the tangled threads of growth, dependency, the self and family, earnestly seeking an answer yet fearful of triggering a total unraveling. But across its 12 tracks, Lavender shows Plunkett coming to terms with the reality that pain is often an important intermediary to wisdom, that a little unraveling can help let the light in.

Half Waif – “Lavender Burning” Recorded Live: 4/16/2018 – Paste Studios – New York, NY

Lavender comes out April 27th through Cascine Records.

Lavender (Pre-Order)

‘Back In Brooklyn’ is the third single from Lavender, the new album from Half Waif, out on Cascine Records. Following 2017’s form/a EP and reissue of her 2016 album Probable Depths, Half Waif returns with a new record, Lavender. The album is Half Waif’s most fully realized work to date: a stunning collection of innovative and evocative electronic pop. Limited edition LPs include a special photobook, featuring exclusive photographs and tear-out prints.

Nandi Rose Plunkett writes, records and performs under the name Half Waif. Nandi was the daughter of an Indian refugee mother and an American father of Irish/Swiss descent. Growing up she listened to everything from Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos, to Celtic songstress Loreena McKennitt and traditional Indian bhajans. Her output as Half Waif reflects these varying influences, resulting in a richly layered collage of blinking electronic soundscapes, echoes of Celtic melodies and the elegiac chord changes of 19th-century art music. This year, Half Waif has released her latest record Lavender, so named for Nandi’s grandmother Asha – a nod to the lavender she would pluck from her garden and boil in a pot on the stove.

Half Waif, the Brooklyn-based synth-pop trio made up of Nandi Rose Plunkett, Adan Carlo and Zack Levine, will release their Cascine Records debut on April 27th. The album is called Lavender and another track  “Torches,” is an evocative and elemental balancing act between freedom and comfort.

“I know somewhere to my left is an undying coast / I think of it in the night when I know I need it most,” Plunkett sings, taking solace in the distant presence of vast and calming waters while she traverses a world of fire and blood. “I see the way the landscape burns / Upturned by the violence / Are these torches meant to fill the unending silence?” she wonders, her delicate voice complemented by a skittering beat and pulsing synths.

Plunkett says of the song: “Torches” opens with the terror of a world that burns, tempered by the cool reminder of an undying coast somewhere nearby. It then imagines what happens when that lit darkness reaches you before you can reach the water’s edge—when you come to feed off it, called by the scream of the open, endless road. It’s probably not surprising that I wrote this song in the days immediately after Trump’s election, driving through Texas on a stretch of highway.

Lavender was unveiled a month ago today, along with lead single “Keep It Out,” the track is a “spectral and beautiful” exploration of “isolation and longing” with “an elegant and minimal beat.” In other words, Plunkett and company are two for two. Half Waif recently expanded their spring tour, adding co-headlining dates with Hovvdy and support dates with Mitski, both wonderful combos.

Listen to “Torches” and revisit “Keep It Out”

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