Half Waif – Mythopoetics

An elegantly honest exploration of what exactly is on Half Waif’s mind.

Label: ANTI-
Released: 9th July 2021

In a somewhat solemn shade of alternative pop, Massachusetts-born Half Waif (Nandi Rose to her friends) presents a rich canvas of synth and piano tracks that are humbly boasting a musical complexity that’s matched only by the airy tones of their vocals. Spinning encapsulating tales about Alzheimer’s, loss, capitalist greed, and Nandi’s own personal struggles, ‘Mythopoetics’ is an elegantly honest exploration of what exactly is on Half Waif’s mind.

Collaborating with film composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Zubin Hensler has provided an innate cinematic feel to this album, apparent even in opening track ‘Fabric’ that sets the intimate tone of the record with a simple piano accompaniment to Nandi’s whispering voice. It’s as though she’s talking straight to us throughout the whole twelve songs. Despite the synth arpeggios and electronic percussion that builds around them, the focus is never distracted from the stories we’re being told and the emotions that emanate from them.

Stark lyricism carries the greatest weight in ‘Mythopoetics’. “I don’t want to be here / How am I supposed to be here? / Everybody goes home and the way there is not clear.” Half Waif sings of foreboding mortality on ‘Orange Blossom’ with the thinnest veil of metaphor to avoid diluting the intensity of her melancholy. In ‘Midnight Asks’ a swell of vocal tracks and modulation create a choral harmony of her crystalline voice to accompany the dreamlike images painted through the lyrics “Midnight asked me to get out of bed, take the low lit road to the trailhead. Always thought things would change, now I wonder if they did.” It’s as atmospheric as it is profound and resonant.

‘Mythopoetics’ finds itself buzzing with electronic innovation of sound that sits beautifully in line with Half Waif’s previous releases. It’s an exhibition of reflection, providing listeners with a twelve-track pause to contemplate the depths of our emotions and a peek into buried thoughts.

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