Half Waif – “Torches”

Last month, we got our first taste of the new Half Waif album, Lavender, with “Keep It Out,” which topped our best songs of the week list. Today, Nandi Rose Plunkett is sharing the album’s second single, “Torches,” and it’s just as great.

It sputters to life, pristine and haunting. Plunkett’s voice is filled with wanting: “I know somewhere to my left is an undying coast/ I think of it in the night when I know I need it most.” Perhaps it’s her version of a torch song, as the title would attest — holding out hope for something better in the distance, for the stars to align just right to be able to feel comfort and security.

It’s also about the pressures of a long-term relationship, finding autonomy within a pair when you’re being taken for granted, standing up for yourself when your needs are being ignored. “I do what I want/ You won’t see me anymore,” Plunkett sings, and the song snaps into focus when she delivers those lines. It’s an adrenaline rush of confidence, but it dissipates soon after, the song settling back into muted anxiety: “You used to say, ‘When you are you coming back?’/ Then came the day when you no longer asked.”

“‘Torches’ opens with the terror of a world that burns, tempered by the cool reminder of an undying coast somewhere nearby,” Plunkett says of the song. “It then imagines what happens when that lit darkness reaches you before you can reach the water’s edge — when you come to feed off it, called by the scream of the open, endless road. It’s probably not surprising that I wrote this song in the days immediately after Trump’s election, driving through Texas on a stretch of highway.”

Listen below.

03/16 Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo *
03/17 Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar *
03/18 Lexington, KY @ The Burl *
03/19 Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
03/20 Bloomington, IN @ The Bishop *
03/21 Milwaukee, WI @ The Backroom at Colectivo Coffee *
03/22 Madison, WI @ High Noon Salon *
04/25 Washington, DC @ DC9^
04/26 Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle^
04/27 Brooklyn, NY @ Baby’s All Right^
04/28 Boston, MA @ Great Scott^
04/29 Montreal, QC @ Vitrola^
05/01 Toronto, ON @ The Drake Hotel^
05/02 Detroit, MI @ Marble Bar^
05/03 Chicago, IL @ Beat Kitchen^
05/04 Madison, WI @ The Frequency^
05/06 Denver, CO @ Larimer Lounge^
05/07 Salt Lake City @ Kilby Court^
05/09 Reno, NV @ Holland Project^
05/10 San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall^
05/11 Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge
05/13 Arcosanti, AZ @ FORM Arcosanti
05/15 Dallas, TX @ City Tavern^
05/16 Austin, TX @ Stubb’s Jr.^
* w/ Mitski
^ w/ Hovvdy

Lavender is out 4/27 via Cascine. Pre-order it here.

Tags: Half Waif