Deeply personal highlight from Half Waif's excellent upcoming EP is single,
It debuts today as the second focus track from their form/a EP and a jewel in which singer Nandi Rose Plunkett muses on the challenge of embracing pain instead of eschewing it. The form/a EP is released as a limited-edition 12” on February 24.
About the track, Nandi explains:
"I wrote Frost Burn while on a writing retreat in Western Massachusetts for a week in December 2015. I was feeling stifled by life in Brooklyn and by living with a partner and never really being alone (in fact, never really wanting to be alone), so I headed back to the country, where I grew up. I rented an apartment from my mom's friend that had a river running behind it. Geese would flock to the river every day like clockwork.
It was totally peaceful and idyllic - what every artist would dream of. But I didn't feel the way I thought I would.
Throughout that week, I felt my same old fears and anxieties creeping through me. I couldn't leave them behind in the city, as much as I wanted to.
Painful memories from childhood were there, in that landscape, and my insidious self-doubts were there, in my body. And that's where that line comes from: 'and on my island, / I cannot keep out all the violence.' It's a way of saying: no matter how much of a circle I draw around myself, no matter how much separation I create between me and my environment, I am still affected by the dark forces that are a part of me. There is no retreat, really - there is only recognition.".
The form/a EP is a collection of tracks that expand on vocalist and producer Nandi Rose Plunkett's exploration of home. "There’s an inherent restlessness in the way that I write and think about sound," she explains. "I’m the daughter of a refugee, and somewhere in me is this innate story of searching for a home. As a result, I have many – a collection of places that I latch onto, that inspire me, that fuse themselves to me. I’m sentimental, nostalgic – yet constantly seeking what’s next, excavating the sound of my past and coloring it to make the sound of my future. I’m a child of divorce, fiercely loved but forced into independence at a young age; I rocket into relationships with the desire to find roots, commonality, to create stillness in the midst of public noise. In this way, my songs are like the notes of a large scavenger hunt, clues pinned to trees I have known, or tucked under rocks on my path, urging the listener to keep looking a little deeper, because maybe they will find something special in the end."
The music Nandi Rose Plunkett writes, records and performs under the name Half Waif is deeply personal and engaging, reflecting her lifelong endeavor to reconcile a sense of place. Raised in the bucolic cultural hub of Williamstown, Massachusetts, Nandi was the daughter of an Indian refugee mother and an American father of Irish/Swiss descent. She was one of Williamstown’s only non-white residents. As a kid, she listened to a wide mix of music that included everything from Joni Mitchell and Tori Amos, to Celtic songstress Loreena McKennitt and traditional Indian bhajans. In college, she studied classical singing and became enamored with the works of Olivier Messiaen and Claude Debussy.
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 sad chord changes of
19th-century art music.
Next to her touring schedule as a member of Pinegrove, Half Waif has already self-released two EPs and two albums – a split 7" with Deerhoof, the Future Joys EP in 2013, and then albums KOTEKAN (produced by Devin Greenwood) in 2014, and Probable Depths (produced by Zubin Hensler) last May. It was with Probable Depths that Half Waif caught the attention of the worldwide music media, with NPR singling out track ‘Turn Me Around’ and
Pitchfork awarding it their coveted Best New Track distinction. It was also during this time that Half Waif’s relationship with Cascine began.
Their latest EP newly complete, Half Waif will tour Europe this winter and North America in the spring, including dates at SXSW (listed below).
Cover art for form/a was shot by Adan Carlo and hand-stitched by Chilean artist, María Aparicio Puentes.
Half Waif is comprised of Nandi Rose Plunkett, Zack Levine and
31 - MAC - A Coruna, Spain
1 - Sala Riquela - Santiago, Spain
2 - Club de Vila Real - Vila Real, Portugal
3 - Salon De Teatres - Almendralejo, Spain
4 - Teatre Arniches - Alicante, Spain
5 - EMAC Festival - Burriana, Spain
7 - Video - Ghent, Belgium
8 - De Gudde Wellen - Luxembourg
9 - FZW - Dortmund, Germany
10 - Die Wohngemeinshaft - Cologne, Germany
21 - Noise Pop (Solo) - SF, CA
25 - Indie Pop Prom @ Brooklyn Bazaar (Solo) - Brooklyn, NY
11 - Savannah Stopover - Savannah, GA
12 - The Wilbury - Tallahassee, FL
13-17 - SXSW
19 - Not So Fun WKND @ Club Dada - Dallas, TX
22 - Mahall's - Lakewood, OH
23 - Mac's - Lansing, MI
24 - Beat Kitchen - Chicago, IL
25 - Double Happiness - Columbus, OH
26 - The Smiling Moose - Pittsburgh, PA
27 - The Smiling Buddha - Toronto, ON
28 - Vitrola - Montreal, QC
29 - Arts Riot - Burlington, VT
31 - TBA - Baltimore, MD
1 - Strange Matter - Richmond, VA
2 - King's - Raleigh, NC
3 - DC9 - Washington DC
5 - Middle East Upstairs - Boston, MA
6 - The Silent Barn - New York, NY
7 - Everybody Hits - Philadelphia, PA
B I Z Z A R R E