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Half Waif makes return with third album, “Lavender”

Tonje Thilesen

The New York based trio, Half Waif, makes a dramatic return with their third album titled “Lavender”. It is a collection of songs that deal with the longing for the security of home, the mind games that leave us fraught with indecision and anxiousness, as well as the helplessness many Americans were left feeling after the 2016 Presidential election. The album opens with the track, “Lavender Burning” where the lead singer of the group, Nandi Plunkett, formerly a member ofthe band Pinegrove, describes her need for home, and her attempt to fill the emptiness that she feels in her soul. The title drawing from the lavender her grandmother used to boil over the stove filling the house with an overwhelming smell that emits a feeling of peace and calm that comes from its soothing aroma. The second track, “Torches”, vividly describes images of a wildfire tearing through the land, while Plunkett yearns for the lively coast to escape the rage of the flames. The lyrics read, “You used to say / ‘When are you comin’ back?’ / Then came the day / When you no longer asked” giving the listener a real reflection of what she was experiencing during the grueling, monotonous months spent on tour that can put a heavy strain on the person themselves, along with the people closest to them.

While a majority of the tracks on the album have a synth, electronic-pop sound with layered vocals on top of Adan Carlo’s steady, rhythmic bass and guitar, and Zack Levine’s perfectly synced drums, the piano ballad, “Back in Brooklyn” comes as a melodic break in sound that showcases Plunkett’s raw vocals. In this moving, spine chilling rendition she has finally found herself, and despite all the things that she lost along the way, it has made her realize who she truly is as a person. She commands her audience in the third verse as her voice cries out the words, “Listen for me now / You’ve got to listen for me now”.  In contrast, on “Solid 2 Void”, we hear more of Plunkett’s internal struggle with her own identity, versus the person that the maternal figures in her life think they know her to be: “I’m solid and then void / Knew you always love me / There’s a part of me you’ll never know / Even though you raised me” her voice aches on the chorus.

“Lavender” is a collection of stories chronicling the pain felt while longing for something that was lost. Yet it is also a narrative of personal growth, perseverance, and self realization that goes hand-in-hand with suffering. Across the span of 12 songs you will get a closer look into Plunkett’s world, and the beauty that often shines through our darkest moments.

Half Waif’s “Lavender” is available for streaming on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. It is also up for purchase on Amazon Music, iTunes, and Google Play. Half Waif is currently on the last leg on their U.S. tour finishing their last date in their home state, New York, on June 20th. They head off on their month long European tour on September 12th, with their first show being in Berlin, Germany. You can head over to the band’s website for their full list of dates, If the band is passing through your area don’t hesitate to catch a show, you won’t regret it!