Posts Tagged ‘Nandi Rose Plunkett’

Half Waif, aka Nandi Rose Plunkett, released her best album yet, “The Caretaker”, last year, and now she’s revealed her first new music of 2021. She has a new 7″ due out February 24th via ANTI-Records, and she’s shared its A-side, the gorgeous, haunting “Orange Blossoms.”

“I wrote ‘Orange Blossoms’ soon after finishing The Caretaker, and in some ways, it feels like the next chapter in that story,” Nandi Rose says. “In the fall of 2019, I found myself taking care of someone close to me who was struggling with addiction, and as a caretaker often does, I internalized that immense pain and took it on as my own. It’s paralyzing, to feel so powerless when trying to help someone you love. The song came out like an incantation, a desperate plea to be rescued from wrestling with everything. But it unfolded into something more resolute as I refocused on the task of taking responsibility for myself and my own life. The song touches on a phrase that kept coming back to me at that time, which was: ‘no one’s going to do it for you.’ You can help and be helped, you can love and be loved, but salvation is your own to seek and claim.”

“Orange Blossoms” by Half Waif

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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Massachusetts-born Irish/Swiss singer-songwriter Nandi Rose Plunkett aka Half Waif will be releasing her new album Lavender on April 27th. ‘Keep it Out’ is about “the evolution of the self in a relationship: the maintenance of autonomy in the midst of a process of coupling, ageing, and decay.” –

The video was directed by Celina Carney and choreographed by 2nd Best Dance Company. She supports Iron & Wine on tour soon.

‘Keep It Out’ is the first single from Lavender, the new album from Half Waif

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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.

On April 27, our new full-length album Lavender will be released via our fam at Cascine Records. Today, you can hear & watch the first single, “Keep It Out.” It was directed by Celina Carney and choreographed by 2nd Best Dance Company and features a whole lot of talented folks – a huge thanks to the brilliant cast & crew for bringing this song to life.

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

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Nandi Rose Plunkett finds beauty in empty space. Battling with the inner-workings of identity and what it means to be alive, Half Waif is an escape into the void. Whilst her lyricism is distinctively enchanting, it’s her gorgeous, thoughtful melodies and layered instrumentation that feels like time is standing still.

Plunkett has spoken of wanting to “tear out [her] guts” and give titular form to the feelings which flow through us when in and out of relationships, and on the EP she does this time and again with an honesty that is often lacking in what’s ostensibly a synth pop record.

The breaks between notes are as meaningful as each utterance of instrument, acting as an pleading inhalation. Layers are added as she unravels each tale, throwing spectacular colour and warmth towards a hopeful conclusion. ‘Probable Depths’ thrusts neon surges into a brutal landscape, shattering nerves in its wake.

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Vocals, Keyboards, Songs / Nandi Rose Plunkett
Drums, Electronic Percussion / Zack Levine
Electric Bass  / Adan Carlo