“Frost Burn,” the second single from Half Waif’s upcoming form/a EP, is about how impossible it is to run away from your problems. As we talked about with Nandi Rose Plunkett, it was conceived of during a writing retreat in the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts, and the song illustrates this struggle through icy imagery and a sense of a hazy wanderlust. “If i were tracing a map, would it lead me out or would it lead me back?” Plunkett asks. “Can I change or am I past that? Will I be okay?” Those questions hang over “Frost Burn,” which is plagued with self-doubt and unflinching in its introspection. Listen to it via NPR and read what Plunkett has to say about the song below.
I wrote Frost Burn while on a writing retreat in Western Massachusetts for a week in December 2015. I was feeling stifled by life in Brooklyn and by living with a partner and never really being alone (in fact, never really wanting to be alone), so I headed back to the country, where I grew up. I rented an apartment from my mom’s friend that had a river running behind it. Geese would flock to the river every day like clockwork. It was totally peaceful and idyllic – what every artist would dream of. But I didn’t feel the way I thought I would. Throughout that week, I felt my same old fears and anxieties creeping through me. I couldn’t leave them behind in the city, as much as I wanted to. Painful memories from childhood were there, in that landscape, and my insidious self-doubts were there, in my body. And that’s where that line comes from: ‘and on my island, / I cannot keep out all the violence.’ It’s a way of saying: no matter how much of a circle I draw around myself, no matter how much separation I create between me and my environment, I am still affected by the dark forces that are a part of me. There is no retreat, really – there is only recognition.