CASCINE – 24th February

Emotions as tactile and the self akin to mist; New York based Nandi Rose Plunkett tackles questions of existence, belonging, desperate affection and constant persistence in her stunning new project as Half Waif. Written, recorded and produced by Plunkett, form/a also credits Zubin Hensler as co-producer with additional contributions from Adan Carlo and Zack Levine; the latter who, with Plunkett, make up the Half Waif live show.

Half Waif’s vocals have a particular warmth and tenderness to them; her delicate articulation shines over the layers of instrumentation and emphasises in part the introspective anxiety that emanates throughout the EP. Opening track ‘Severed Logic’ explores an innate awareness of the effect her emotions have on others, “my mood is a pendulum, I don’t think you can handle it”, ‘Frost Burn’ battles feelings of isolation, “I had a dream I wasn’t me and I was okay with that”, and ‘Night Heat’ recognises a fear of being alone, “I’ll follow you forever so you never go.”

Throughout form/a lies also a strong sense of acknowledging emotions as tangible and existential, perhaps in an effort to understand and compartmentalise them. There’s certainly something to be said for considering your emotions as separate to and not defining of your identity, and I think this is Plunkett’s approach here: “It exists as a soft persistence”, “It sits on my chest… My mood is not an invited guest”. In listening to form/a I found myself listening intently for the next line, encouraging in a way some reflection on my own sense of self.

Glitchy, syncopated textures thread through form/a, at times simultaneously hypnotic and industrial. Nandi Rose Plunkett builds layers of synth and instrumentation upon one another to form striking soundscapes which at times border on discordant; her production mirroring the complexity of the subjects she grapples with in her lyrics. ‘Wave’ exemplifies this sound; powerful lyrics about constantly striving for an unreachable goal soar over a heavy discombobulated bass and Plunkett effortlessly blends these together with vocal harmonies and ethereal floating chords.

Half Waif describe their sound as Mood Ring Pop and in form/a it’s remarkably fitting.

Buy: Half Waif – form/a.