Written by Lauren Rosier
Half Waif, the project of Nandi Rose, announces her upcoming new album, Mythopoetics, due out on July 9th via ANTI- Records. Today, she also releases the lead single and music video, “Swimmer,” from the album, directed by Kenna Hynes. The video co-stars Rose‘s mother, which continues the storyline in the other videos released earlier this year, “Orange Blossoms,” “Party’s Over,” and “Take Away The Ache.”
“I wrote Swimmer after visiting my aunt, who has Alzheimer’s. I’ll never forget the summer we were swimming at the lake where our family has a cabin – her mind was already slipping, but her body was still strong enough to swim across to the other side,” says Rose. “It was incredible, how both things could be true. Now the only way I can reach her is through music. I sing for her with my hand on her shoulder, feeling the soft weight of her body through the blanket, pouring all of the love I have from my voice into that warm arm. I try to reconcile what is still here with what has already gone,” Rose explained.
Of the video, she says, “The idea for the music video came to me while I was recording ‘Swimmer’: a motorcycle chase, a quest to find a magic flower, and then the final scene where the flower is laid at the feet of an old woman, who bursts into light and is set free. I’ve always loved fantasy, the way it can capture the most poignant human emotions even when wildly surreal things are happening. When I brought the idea to Kenna, it set us on a journey to create a four-part music video series that develops the story further, starting with the first single ‘Orange Blossoms’ – in which the elf princess is woken from a kind of catatonic state and inspired to go outside to plant a golden seed – and ending with ‘Swimmer’ – when the princess (now a motorcycle-riding warrior, after being spurned one too many times from one too many parties) retrieves the golden flower and returns to her castle to set her future self free. We filmed the castle scene at the property where my aunt lives, and the older version of me was played by my mom, which made it all the more meaningful. It’s a kind of personal mythology.”
For Nandi Rose, songwriting is a transformational experience. When writing as Half Waif, Nandi is able to create a patchwork quilt of songs of our darkest and the most vulnerable moments. On her new album, Mythopoetics, the Hudson Valley-based artist transforms the familiar patterns that have been handed down to her in her family, revisiting the sources of pain, and transforming them into something beautiful and poetic. “It is an essential reminder that we have the power to shape the stories we tell and the myths we make of our lives.”
“This is the record I’ve been trying to make for 10 years,” Rose says. “My voice is changing, and my confidence has reached a point where I feel that I can sing however I want; I’ve finally come to a place where I don’t have to conform to what I think other people want it to sound like.”
JULY 9, 2021
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