Half Waif - Ephemeral Being [EP]


“As high stakes as Half Waif has ever sounded” – Vulture

“Complex, daring… throughout Half Waif’s discography, Rose has excelled at staging intimate, escalating conflict laced with rich sensory detail” – Pitchfork

“Stormy chord progressions and eerie pitch-shifts convey disquiet, while sweeping strings and Rose’s soaring vocals crash in waves of catharsis.” – Nylon

Rose is consistently productive, but the quality of her music has never wavered; it has only blossomed. It’s rare for an artist with this much creative output to be this consistently excellent.” – Paste

In May 2022, Half Waif aka Nandi Rose was standing on the ridgeline in northeastern Wyoming. The landscape was a layer cake of strata, the colors of compressed geologic time. Rose was at an artist residency, where she found herself grappling with loss and looking for answers in the sagebrush. The previous winter, back home in the frosted farmland of upstate New York, her life had been riddled with blows as she faced losing a family member to illness and moved through a medical recovery of her own. Now, gazing out at the wide plains, she felt the beneficence of the passing of time. I’m not a failure, she thought. I’m an ephemeral being.

Already known for writing songs that provide strength alongside openhearted vulnerability for troublesome and daunting times, today she announces the transformative ‘Ephemeral Being’ EP and shares lead single “Big Dipper”, with the full five-song EP being released at the end of the month, on May 31.

“This is a song about looking for answers, and finding none, and looking again,” Rose explains of “Big Dipper.” “It was written at a time when I was feeling very stuck in my body and overwhelmed by compounding griefs. I was inspired by the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh, who had just passed away, and his idea of continuation–how we are not bound by our forms. We continue on. ‘This body is not me,’ he said. ‘So laugh with me, hold my hand, let us say good-bye, say good-bye to meet again soon.’”

Recorded over the course of the winter of 2021 and into the following spring, the ‘Ephemeral Being’ EP looks at the transience of life while celebrating the continuation of nature and its cycles. Across these five songs—the first offering in a larger body of work coming later this year from Half WaifRose finds comfort and hope in the natural world. On “Heartwood,” she casts herself as an ancient oak tree, while on “Dreaming of Bears,” inspired again by Hanh’s teachings, she imagines a loved one’s smile enduring after death as the curve of a river bend.

At turns fierce and delicate, awash in arrangements that boldly blend contemporary classical with indie rock and synth pop, the songs on the ‘Ephemeral Being EP serve as a reminder of scale: that we are all ephemeral in the face of sandstone, sparrow, and ocean. That in times of feeling paralyzed by life’s disruptions—when our faith is shaken, and we are at our most desperate—nature offers us perspective. Life persists, Rose finds. Sometimes we just need a wider view.


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