MUSIC

The Reckoner: Half Waif On "Mythopoetics"

The Hudson Valley-based Half Waif tackles everyday dramas on her new album, Mythopoetics, one of the year's finest.

Sitting before her bright yard in the Hudson Valley on a recent weekday afternoon musician Half Waif ponders the piano that has consoled her since childhood.

Born Ananda "Nandi" Rose in verdant Williamstown, Massachusetts, the artist began playing the instrument at age six and has since leapt from it to craft some of the finest art pop around. Across five albums, starting with 2014's scintillating Kotekan and continuing with the shimmering Mythopoetics that was released just two weeks ago, Half Waif emerges as a true visionary who digs everyday soil and rises with profound gems.

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"I wish I could tell myself / don't do it for anyone else," sings Nandi Rose Plunkett on "Party's Over," one of the many bittersweet tracks on her latest release, Mythopoetics.

As Half Waif, Plunkett has been crafting strangely beautiful, buoyant, and sad music for years. With a knack for nimble electronic beats and thought-provoking lyrics, she's always been uniquely talented at capturing the strange sense of being isolated in your own mind while acutely feeling for others. Now, though, she seems to be intent on reclaiming her own sense of personal autonomy.

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Music Features

Half Waif, Ben Gibbard, and 5 Other Live Streams to Tune Into Now

Get your best headphones, crack open a cold one, and enjoy these livestream shows, straight from one artist's living room to yours.

Now that we're all stuck at home, musicians are turning to livestreams in order to share their art with the world. Here are some incredible livestreams to check out this week and next:

Friday, 3/27: Half Waif, the dreamy electro-pop outlet of Pinegrove's Nandi Rose Plunkett, is performing her ethereal new album "The Caretaker" this Friday at 7:30 PM. Tune in here. Plunkett also recently wrote a column for NPR about how she's staying sane during quarantine—which involves spending a lot of time on her couch.

Half Waif: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert www.youtube.com


4PM Daily: Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie has been doing daily livestreams, and he just released a song called "Life in Quarantine."

Benjamin Gibbard - Life in Quarantine (Official Audio) www.youtube.com


Saturday, 3/28: Bands including indie outlet WD-HAN will be gathering for a festival called Doomed Fest on Saturday, March 28th and Sunday, March 29th, starting at noon EST daily. Tickets are $10 and all proceeds go towards supporting performers.

Doomed Fest


Sunday 3/29: Elton John is bringing Billie Eilish, Mariah Carey, and Alicia Keys (all in the safety of their own homes) together for the iHeart Living Room Concert for America, airing 9PM Sunday.

Billie Eilish - The End of the World - Radio 1 Piano Sessions www.youtube.com


Sunday 3/29: Jay-Z's streaming platform Tidal will be bringing a coterie of illustrious artists together this weekend for free livestreams, including Beyonce and Rihanna for their Sunday R&B sessions.

Rihanna - Diamonds (Acoustic Live) www.youtube.com


Wednesday 4/1 (and every Wednesday and Friday): Indie band San Fermin is doing IGTV livestreams every Wednesday and Friday at 3PM EST. They also just released the second installment of their dual album, The Cormorant, along with a new video for "Freedom (Yeah Yeah Yeah)." Tune in to the livestreams here.

San Fermin - Freedom (Yeah Yeah!) (Official Video) www.youtube.com


Thursday, 4/2: The musician Mike Broussard is doing livestreams every Thursday at 1PM EST. Experience his rollicking, expansive ballads by tuning in here.

Marc Broussard-Solo Acoustic (Round 2) www.youtube.com


April 4th: Actor and musician Michelle Creber will be performing a livestream concert on April 4th. She also just released a new music video for "Storm" and dropped a moving, cinematic new single called "False Empire."

STORM (music video) - Michelle Creber www.youtube.com


Have a livestream you want featured? Email [email protected]

New Releases

Half Waif's "In August" Is an Ode to Friendship Breakups

The new single from Nandi Rose deals with guilt from an ending friendship.

Tonje Thilesen

It's been argued time and time again that friendship breakups can sting worse than romantic ones.

Even if neither party is to blame, a fizzled companionship can lend itself to mournful guilt. It's these feelings of remorse that drive "In August," the latest single from Half Waif's Nandi Rose. According to the singer/songwriter, the pensive song "tracks the dissolution of a friendship over the course of a year, throughout every season." As she explains in a statement, "There's a particular kind of sadness to a friendship ending when there's no one to blame, just as there's something mournful about the inevitable change of weather. Sometimes it's not a big fight but a gradual growing apart that marks the end—how do we make sense of our role in that? This song is an attempt to recognize and accept mutual culpability in an effort to move on."

"In August" begins with a funereal piano introduction that soon gives way to Half Waif's unique brand of layered, shadowy synth-pop. Looming and somber, the track finds Rose contemplative on both sides of the friendship's end. "I wonder how you've been / Oh, I have lost your friendship / What does that say about me?" she sings. Later: "You've broken your promise / What does that say about you?"

"In August" is neither self-destructive or accusatory, instead weighing the mutual faults between herself and her subject. "If I can own / Up to what I've done / Then I'll get it together / Will you follow?" go the song's final lines, as the instrumentals fade out as seamlessly as a missed connection.

Listen below.

Half Waif - "In August" (Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

MUSIC

ROUNDUP | Music you can buy to combat Trump’s travel ban

BREAKING | SCOTUS has passed a revision of the Muslim ban - here are four albums that can help.
photo via Facebook / Julia Leiby

Emotional release from music is all well and good, but when presidential legislation is not only based on hate and prejudice against a religion but directly threatens the safety and lives of those people and others who are simply on the wrong side of customs, it's time for something a little more concrete than catharsis. (For those who haven't heard, The Supreme Court of the United States recently ruled that it would "largely implement the President's executive order" with small revisions, according to an official statement.)

These musicians are all selling music whose proceeds currently go to organizations who fight to combat the ban and aid those it affects; check it out and remember to read up on other ways to help combat harmful legislation.

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