Haunting, harrowing and glisteningly beautiful. The single from Half Waif ‘Orange Blossoms’ is the perfect follow up to the Hudson Valley band’s 2020 debut album ‘The Caretaker’.
Following on from a debut album release in 2020 which garnered acclaim from across the industry including with the likes of The Sunday Times, Stereogum, Pitchfork and The New Yorker no less. ‘Orange Blossoms’ is a continuation of that story – but then, that’s easy to understand when you take into the both the subject matter and approval.
Both the new single and the 2020 album were penned about Half Waif’s Nandi Rose and her personal experience of caring for someone close to her struggling with addiction.
She said of the new track:
In the fall of 2019, I found myself taking care of someone close to me who was struggling with addiction, and as a caretaker often does, I internalized that immense pain and took it on as my own. It’s paralyzing, to feel so powerless when trying to help someone you love. The song came out like an incantation, a desperate plea to be rescued from wrestling with everything.
While ‘The Caretaker’ was an emotional journey through a incredible and unstable period in Nina’s life. She felt she kept coming back to one phrase which helped the dramatic lyrics we hear in ‘Orange Blossoms’. She recounts:
The song touches on a phrase that kept coming back to me at that time, which was: ‘no one’s going to do it for you.’ You can help and be helped, you can love and be loved, but salvation is your own to seek and claim.
The single takes you on an expedition through some of the complex emotions Rose was feeling during this difficult period in her life.
For me the track is raised above the normal, with an ethereal beauty which can only be matched and then progressed with Nina’s stunning vocal performance. Those who’re familiar with ‘The Caretaker’ album will already be aware of the stunning range Half Waif possess. But this definitely feels like a progression both for the band and, in a more cathartic way, for Nina herself.
Vulnerable, elegant, yet with a determined strength to it. ‘Orange Blossoms’ is the follow up to ‘The Caretaker’ we all needed.
‘Orange Blossoms’ is available to pre-order from 24th February.