Half Waif - The Caretaker Vinyl Record
An eleven-song journey through mind, memory and home, The Caretaker finds Nandi Rose aka Half Waif astutely observing inward and outwardly, picking apart what it means to take care - of herself, partners, friends, family - and the shared pain that comes with that. The Caretaker follows Lavender, Rose's debut, named for the lavender that once grew in her grandmother's garden. And on her most recent collection, Rose's family history and intergenerational stories continue to seep their way into the songs.
While Lavender dealt with wider views on life and death, of endings and apocalypses, terror and tragedy, The Caretaker focuses the telescope inward, grappling with her desire for independence and the knotty reality that we need each other. "The Caretaker is much more about smaller minutiae of relationships and how so much humanity is packed into some of our most mundane moments," she says. "The most ordinary things bring us together. And that in itself is extraordinary."
While her previous full-length was arranged and produced with a band, The Caretaker was an endeavor of solitude. Rose wrote and arranged its entirety before bringing co-producer David Tolomei into the process to sharpen the sounds, tracking upright bass, violin, flute, piano, and bass clarinet at The Clubhouse in Rhinebeck NY, and lush analog synths at The Synth Sanctuary in New York City. The result is that Rose, as Half Waif, has never sounded more like herself.
Rose begins The Caretaker disillusioned and longing for clarity, but by the album's end she has found something better: "It's hard to believe, but I'm finding my way," she sings matter-of-factly on album closer "Window Place." It's a resilient type of healing that sounds mature and assured in its wandering, like a moment of peace.