In the spring of 2018, Nandi Rose’s Half Waif project returned with Lavender. Though the earlier Half Waif releases were great too, Lavender signaled a leveling up — we named it Album Of The Week upon its release, and it ranked amongst the best albums of 2018. It was exciting to think about what Rose might do next, and it turns out we won’t have to wait much longer to find out. Today, Rose announced that the next Half Waif album, The Caretaker, is out this March — less than two years after Lavender.
Her first release through ANTI-, The Caretaker was composed alone, with Rose solitary at a countryside house. A press release describes the album as tracing the distance between “isolation and connection.” As usual for Half Waif, the songs grapple with our relationships and our identity within them.
“I kind of created a character,” Rose said of the album and its title. “She’s someone who has been entrusted with taking care of this estate, taking care of the land, and she’s not doing a very good job. The weeds are growing everywhere, and she’s not taking care of herself.” Apparently, it’s positioned as a vision of who she could become, but by the album’s end she has fought for a new sense of herself.
Along with the announcement, Rose has shared The Caretaker’s lead single, “Ordinary Talk.” Here’s what she had to say about the song:
Recognizing your own ordinariness can be depressing, or it can be a relief. In “Ordinary Talk,” I wanted to honor and celebrate my ordinariness as an incredible tool for making me feel less alone. The song is a reassurance that feeling bad — or “ill” — isn’t something that needs to be corrected. There’s a depth of experience that comes from feeling emotions at their extremes. And it is, in fact, this vivid, varied messiness that makes us human and ordinary. The corresponding video, written in collaboration with director Kenna Hynes, tracks the progression from isolation to communion as we move from a tableau of a troupe of strange courtiers to the neon lights of a good old house party. And as the song shifts and melts away, the cast of characters follows and looks outward: up toward the vast night with its unsettling drift of stars, over a vista of coffee cups and blue TV screens and folded t-shirts — the million tiny moments that define our days.
“Ordinary Talk” feels like a fitting reintroduction to Half Waif. Like the best moments on Lavender, Rose meditates on the tiniest moments of our lives but how momentous and heavy they can feel, how eventually those tiny moments seem to pile up and define our lives. And it’s all delivered with a characteristically gorgeous vocal and layered synths. “Ordinary Talk” also comes with a video directed by Kenna Hynes. Check it out below.
01 “Clouds Rest”
03 “Ordinary Talk”
04 “My Best Self”
05 “In August”
07 “Halogen 2″
08 “Blinking Light”
11 “Window Place”
02/04 – Portland, ME @ State Theatre (w/ Calexico and Iron & Wine)
02/05 – Port Chester, NY @ The Capitol Theatre (w/ Calexico and Iron & Wine)
02/06 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall (w/ Calexico and Iron & Wine)
03/27 – Brooklyn, NY @ Public Records (Release Show)
05/05 – Boston, MA @ Cafe 939
05/06 – Northhampton, MA @ Iron Horse
05/07 – Montreal, QC @ Bar Le Ritz PDB
05/08 – Toronto, ON @ Baby G
05/09 – Detroit, MI @ Deluxx Fluxx
05/10 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
05/12 – Washington, DC @ Songbyrd
05/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Johnny Brenda’s
05/15 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
05/16 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
05/18 – San Francisco, CA @ The Chapel
05/20 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room
05/21 – Los Angeles, CA @ Moroccan Lounge
06/06 – Peterborough, NH @ The Thing In The Spring
The Caretaker is out 3/27 on ANTI-. Pre-order it here.