Today, Half Waif has released “Back In Brooklyn,” the latest single from new album, ‘Lavender’, which is set for release on April 27th via Cascine.
“I wrote “Back in Brooklyn,” the third single from my band Half Waif’s new album, in the period when touring and making music became my actual profession for the first time in my life” explains Nandi Rose Plunkett. “In late August 2016, I quit my day job, packed up the Crown Heights apartment I shared with my partner, and committed myself to the road and to a life filled only with writing, playing, and thinking about music. Of course, that dream—once it entered our earthly realm of human bullshit—came with its own set of challenges.” she explains. Read the rest of the essay at The Talkhouse.
Half Waif began in 2012 as a vehicle for the thoughts, stories and songs of Nandi Rose Plunkett. Since then, alongside bandmates Adan Carlo and Zack Levine, Half Waif has created a powerful sound that’s designed to be both immediate and experimental — song structures that shift and interlock underneath swells of synth, surges of percussion and undulating melodies upon which ride waves of intricate vocals. Lyrically, Half Waif traverses complex emotional landscapes. Influenced by Nandi’s Williamstown, Massachusetts, upbringing as the daughter of an Indian refugee mother and an American father of Irish/Swiss descent, Half Waif’s songs are forever searching to understand what it means to be truly “home.”
Opening a new era for the project, this new album expands upon themes of travel and leaving home to include connections Nandi forged with the women in her family. About ‘Lavender’ she shared:
“Lavender is so named for my grandmother Asha – a nod to the lavender she would pluck from her garden and boil in a pot on the stove. The first time I noticed her doing this, it struck me as a kind of magic: the small black cauldron bubbling with a piece of the earth. She did it to make the house smell good. I believe it was also a ritual of purification, clearing out any shadows that may have tried to creep into the old English home she’d lived in, alone, for fifty years.
When I wrote and recorded Lavender, my grandmother was alive, and though she wasn’t ill at the time of her sudden death in September, it was obvious her life – after 95 years – was drawing to a close. As a result, themes of aging and collapse are all over this album. It is an elegy to time, the pilgrimages we take, and the ultimate slow plod towards our end. It is an examination of the way we fracture, inside ourselves and inside our relationships – the fissures that creep along the structures we build, the tendency towards disintegration.
We face many endings in our lives, on the path toward that unfathomable yet omnipresent ultimate Ending. Break-ups and divorces, marriages and the estrangement of the self, hard times and bittersweet relief, steep precipices that rise up beyond our control over and over again. These endings are markers of time and growth, small personal apocalypses that pockmark our days. And yet there is more to come when the terror subsides; even the night itself – that great darkness – must end and give way to new light. Lavender is a talisman to hold in the midst of that uncertainty, to heal and remind ourselves that it’s not over. It’s not ending yet.”
‘Lavender’ was co-produced by David Tolomei and mastered by Heba Kadry. It is available for pre-order now and due out on April 27th via Cascine. Limited edition LPs will include a special photobook, featuring exclusive photographs corresponding to each song on the album. Pages are perforated and can double as photo prints, with song lyrics on the reverse.