The latest haunting effort from Half Waif has arrived and looks set to make 2021 an interesting new venture for Nandi Rose. You can listen to ‘Orange Blossoms’ below and get swept up in Rose’s vision.
It’s hard not to get grandiose about a song like this. ‘Orange Blossoms’ is so gigantic, so epic and rich in texture that it feels like it is more akin to a literary work than a pop song. The electronic glitches of her previous work on Lavender and even last year’s follow-up, The Caretaker, seems to have rescinded somewhat to allow Rose’s vocal to shine.
“I wrote ‘Orange Blossoms’ soon after finishing The Caretaker, and in some ways, it feels like the next chapter in that story,” Rose says in a statement. There’s certainly some gravity to the point, least of all because the song truly feels like a chapter from a book.
“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 internalised that immense pain and took it on as my own.” The songs on her previous record allowed Rose to full expand on these themes and to, therefore, reduce their hold on her as not only an artist but a person too.
“It’s paralysing,” she continues, “to feel so powerless when trying to help someone you love.” ‘Orange Blossoms’ sees those moments culminate into one blast of epic baroque-electro-pop. “The song came out like an incantation, a desperate plea to be rescued from wrestling with everything. But it unfolded into something more resolute as I refocused on the task of taking responsibility for myself and my own life.”
There’s online in the track that will always be a poignant moment for Half Waif, “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.”
Through songs, Rose is accurately and authentically expressing some of the most deeply personal moment of her life and, by doing so, enacted her will as an artist. It’s refreshing to witness such an expression made with such veracity.