Lavender by Half Waif
By Sophie Minello
Lavender. The smell fills a room, it bring a calmness, it coaxes a certain kind of peace. This is exactly what Half Waif’s new album does, though confusingly through the themes of endings, turmoil, and struggles. The album, fittingly entitled Lavender, was released on April 27. The title connects to frontwoman Nandi Rose Plunkett’s grandmother, since Plunkett remembers her burning lavender whenever she visited.
Somehow, the idea of burning lavender to bring about a tranquil smell is a perfect description of what this album feels like. The album touches upon the struggles of constantly traveling while life rushes by, the loss of loved ones, the current state of our country, and other dark topics. Half Waif wraps up these topics in a blanket of otherworldly and electronic sounds. Though heartbreaking, the album holds a sense of beauty. It fills a room with it’s dark tones and heavy lyrics.
Each song shifts slowly and transforms as it moves along. This is seen in the way “Lavender Burning” slowly reaches out its hand to you with the opening lyrics of “Staring out into the shifting darkness / trying to give a name to the place where my heart is.” It showcases a strange feeling, where things unconnected are drawn together by a magnetic force. The album is tied to the core of the earth, yet it reaches towards the cosmos.
It seems that the only way to explain this album is by connecting things that don’t naturally connect. For instance, “Leveler” is about Plunkett losing her grandmother. The word illustrate the loss, but the sounds echo through a tunnel that reaches through space and time. The reach continues throughout the whole album, with songs like “Solid 2 Void” and “Torches.” These songs connect to the current state of our country, as “Solid 2 Void” begins with the words “I’ve had enough of this apocalypse.” Plunkett understands, and I think we’ve all had enough of it.
However, through it all, Lavender reminds us that there is beauty in chaos and hardship. It’s an album you can crawl into when you’re feeling particularly hopeless, and it reminds you that there’s something deeper than what’s on the surface. That through this apocalypse, at least we have beautiful music like the masterpieces that live in Lavender.
Listen to Lavender here.