half waif – “back in brooklyn”

– featured image courtesy of tonje thilesen – 

half waif’s new album, lavender, arrives at the end of the month; it’s one of our most anticipated releases of the year, an anticipation continuously bolstered by the strength of its string of singles.

on “back in brooklyn,” nandi rose plunkett sheds much of the constructs of her usual electro-pop veneer and is left with little else besides a handful of plaintive piano chords.  plunkett’s voice is front and center in this sparing arrangement, the contours of her lead vocal swayed by the push-and-pull tendencies of the accompanying keyboard.  these temporary spurts of momentum lend themselves well to a subject matter grappling with the fragments of a relationship, pieces that yet solidify a component of identity.

it’s a song about comfort that also acknowledges the constraints of said comfort, questioning its benevolence.  alongside its release today, plunkett wrote an essay on “back in brooklyn” for talkhouse, further illuminating its backstory.  lavender arrives april 27th via cascine.  listen to “back in brooklyn” below.

half waif – “torches”

– featured image courtesy of tonje thilesen – 

nandi rose plunkett sits at the helm of the synth-driven pop trio half waif, who are set to release their new full-length, lavender, at the end of april.  the album’s cycle kicked off last month with an audio/visual masterclass for the swirling, invigorating lead single, “keep it out,” which set both tone and precedent with a commanding ease.

“torches,” the second track culled from lavender, pares back its predecessor’s propulsive nature while still retaining its sense of urgency.  plunkett’s lead vocal initially sounds a bit muffled, as if she’s dictating vivid, contemporaneous observations of her surroundings through a field recorder; a comparative clarity is achieved as the arrangement fleshes out, culminating in the sudden, sharp declaration of “i do what i want / you won’t see me anymore.”

percussion reins “torches” in, as opposed to pushing it forward, allowing plunkett’s sustained synth chords ample time to soak into the soundscape and construct the mid-tempo monolith that it ultimately becomes.  lavender is out april 27th via cascine.  listen to “torches” below.

half waif – “keep it out”

– featured image courtesy of tonje thilesen –

details about the forthcoming half waif album, lavender, were still scant at the end of last year when we named it one of our most anticipated releases of 2018.  that anticipation has only increased as more information has come into focus; lavender is due out april 27th via cascine and comes front-loaded with an arresting lead single, “keep it out.”

nandi rose plunkett has always excelled at wrapping soaring melismas up in swaths of synth pads and leads, a pairing nearing its apex and on full display throughout “keep it out.”  combined with celina carney’s stunning visuals, “keep it out” becomes a masterclass in dichotomy that stretches from its narrative to its arrangement and weaves through the most intricate of details.

that plunkett can distill all of this into a capsule of pop perfection – with a surging chorus to boot – is a testament to her enduring gift as a songwriter.  if “keep it out” is any indication, lavender should be one of the year’s more memorable releases.  check out the music video below.

most anticipated albums of 2018

featured image courtesy of minimally minimal –

as 2017 draws to a close, we naturally shift our focus to 2018 and the bevy of albums slated to be released throughout the year.  admittedly, the following list largely focuses on albums due out in the first quarter, with a couple of pipe dreams sprinkled in.  for those still trying to soak up as much of 2017 as possible, check out our favorite releases of the year here.  for those looking to forge ahead, read on.  links to pre-order are embedded if available.

rhyerhye – blood (february 2nd || loma vista)

three strong singles have thus far precluded rhye’s long-awaited sophomore full-length.  after returning this summer with “please,” rhye closed out 2017 with the supple one-two punch of “taste” and “count to five.”  if the samplings and album art are any indication, mike milosh’s work remains as intimate and sensual as ever.

 

Hovvdy Cranberryhovvdy – cranberry (february 9th || double double whammy)

austin duo hovvdy released one of 2016’s most enduring – and endearing – albums in taster.  cranberry, their first since signing to the venerable double double whammy, seems poised to flesh out the warm, lived-in aura that permeates their disarmingly honest work.  case in point: lead single “petal” drips with nostalgia, its assured pace gently giving way to tender falsetto.

 

quiet friendquiet friend – quiet friend (march 9th || elestial sound)

after years of releasing music by himself under the moniker mister lies, nick zanca has shifted into collaborative mode to build quiet friend with steven rogers.  the duo, along with a rotating cast of other contributors, sculpt an audiophile’s dreamscape; lead single “safe” is a whirlwind, but is also just a hint of what quiet friend have in store throughout their self-titled debut.

– other notable releases – 

a grave with no name – passover (january 19th || forged artifacts)

nadine – oh my (january 26th || father/daughter)

triathalon – online (february 16th || broken circles)

s. carey – hundred acres (february 23rd || jagjaguwar)

lucy dacus – historian (march 2nd || matador)

half waif – lavender (tbd || cascine)

helena deland – tba (tbd || luminelle)

ness nite – dream girl (tbd || pow recordings)

pat moon – tba (tbd || track & field)

yours are the only ears – tba (tbd || team love)