Brooklyn-based electronic trio Half Waif, led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Nandi Rose Plunkett, are now streaming their new album, Lavender, via NPR. Earlier this week, the band stopped by the Paste studio for an intimate session that featured three gorgeous album tracks: “Lavender Burning,” “Torches,” and “Silt,” the latter of which Plunkett called her “favorite” on the record.
Lush and layered, Lavender is an album about connection— both lack of it, and the ties that bind us to the people in our lives. Plunkett’s lyrics— most of which were written on tour— reflect feelings of isolation and longing. “I miss New York, and that’s the loneliest feeling/To be on a road and not know where it’s leading,” she sings on opening track “Lavender Burning.”
“A lot of the record makes reference to what it’s like to be away from home and be missing the places and people you love,” Plunkett told Paste. The album’s title was inspired by Plunkett’s English grandmother, who used to pick lavender from her garden and burn it on the stove. She was “like a little witch making magic in the kitchen,” Plunkett laughed.
Now as an adult, Plunkett recognizes the power and healing of the tradition. Lavender tackles big subjects like “endings, turmoil and angst,” and stresses the importance of “the rituals in our lives that help us get through those daily challenges.”
Half Waif also performed a stripped-down version of “Torches,” the second single from Lavender. The track, written directly after the 2016 Presidential Election, was inspired by an image of burning fire Plunkett saw on the road in Texas. There was “so much fear and so much terror in facing this new reality and what it was going to mean for our lives,” she said. Whether it’s discussing relationships, loss, or the state of our country, Lavender is about “personal remedies,” and “healing yourself” in order to “get back out there and keep fighting the fight.”
Watch Half Waif’s full Paste session right here. Lavender is out April 27.