Track Of The Day: Half Waif – ‘Sodium & Cigarettes’

Sodium & Cigarettes’ is the latest single from Half Waif’s forthcoming album Mythopoetics, set for release next month.

Half Waif is the creation of New York based artist Nandi Rose whose ethereal vocals sail somewhere in the gap between Phoebe Bridgers, Kate Bush, and Sinead O’Connor. Producer Zubin Hensler makes the most of her unique talent, stripping the production right back to its bare bones and allowing Rose’s voice to be the star of the show. Rose has commented that Mythopoetics is the album she has been trying to make for ten years: “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”. ‘Sodium & Cigarettes’ is an incredible showcase for her newfound confidence.

A simple solo piano accompanies Rose’s tenuous vocal through the opening verse as the lyrics ponder “Do I deserve what’s coming to me?”, but this is ultimately a song of hope. The vocal gathers in strength and resilience throughout as Rose declares in the chorus “okay, give it another day”, giving a sense of needing to take a breath before re-entering the fray – a sentiment which will no doubt be familiar to listeners exhausted by Trump-era politics, the pandemic, and an endlessly grim 24 hour news cycle. Rose implores the listener to keep looking to the future.

As the song progresses, gentle reverb-laden backing vocals swell in the background as if powering up to meet the challenge, sparse staccato synths pepper the final verses as if waking up, and the resonance of a church organ fills the delicate space beneath Rose’s vocal. The track ends with Rose challenging the listener – “Is it too late now to start running?” – her tenuous vocal taking on ever more strength and depth as she uses a vocal effect reminiscent of The Japanese House. 

‘Sodium & Cigarettes’ is a song of hope, a challenge to us all to re-energise and take up the fight, a subtle and gentle awakening in the face of exhaustion and malaise.

‘Sodium & Cigarettes’ is taken from Half Waif’s fourth album Mythopoetics, set for release on 9th July via ANTI-.

Kate Sullivan
@katesullo

Photo Credit:  Ali Cherkis

Track Of The Day: Blonde Maze x Attom – ‘I Think About’

Having fallen in love with everything that New York-based artist and previous guest on our GIHE radio show, Blonde Maze, has created, my ears were extremely happy to welcome her brand new single. Following 2019’s ‘To The Moon‘ and ‘Not All Flowers Bloom‘, and this year’s ‘Diamond Eyes‘ and a beautiful cover of ‘Fade Into You‘, ‘I Think About‘ is a collaboration with Attom and provides a perfect sparkling summer soundscape.

Flowing with a twinkling, ethereal splendour, ‘I Think About’ reflects on the intrigue of loving deeply, and the realisation that with these feelings come an endearing sense of vulnerability. Oozing an utterly captivating majesty that instantly soothes and uplifts, glistening hooks and glitchy beats float as a swirling undercurrent to the ripple of Amanda’s luscious, heartfelt vocals. As always, with everything Blonde Maze creates, it’s impossible not to become utterly immersed in the track’s blissful lilting grace and cathartic euphoric energy.

Thank you, Blonde Maze, for never failing to lift my spirits and calm my mind with your truly heavenly creations.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Track Of The Day: Blonde Maze – ‘Not All Flowers Bloom’

Having been a huge fan of New York artist and previous guest on our radio show Blonde Maze for a long while now, I was excited to see that she has shared a brand new single.

Reflecting on the realisation that even though something is beautiful, it may not last forever, ‘Not All Flowers Bloom’ is an an utterly dreamy offering. As chiming beats and twinkling hooks accompany the beautifully luscious vocals, a truly euphoric electro-pop soundscape is created. Of the track, Blonde Maze expands: 

Something may grow but not fully bloom. This song is about the acceptance and awareness of that realization. The cover art is a girl watering a flower that’s dying, trying to revive it. But she’s also looking out into the field of blooming flowers, because she knows in the back of her mind, her blooming flower is somewhere out there.”

‘Not All Flowers Bloom’ is a perfect example of Blonde Maze’s knack for creating exquisite soundscapes. I could listen to everything she creates on a loop forever – I just find her music so completely calming and blissfully cathartic. Essential listening for these anxiety-inducing times. 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Premiere: Siv Disa – ‘Moths’

New York based artist Siv Disa is now ready to share her poignant new single. Produced by fellow New Yorker, Sam And The Sea, ‘moths’ is a poignant reflection on the captivity of love.

Propelled by eerie, atmospheric hooks, ‘moths’ showcases Disa’s soaring raw vocals alongside a spellbinding majesty. As profound lyrics flow from an ethereal plane, it’s an utterly captivating offering that shimmers with a subtle mystical power. Of the meaning behind the track, Siv Disa explains:

“You see these impossibly large moths trapped in big street lamps, flying inside them and hitting the glass again and again… They must have gotten in when they were small enough to fit, and then grown too large to escape. The amount of time they spend on the wrong side of the glass. It seems so unnecessary from the outside. A whole life spent looking out at the world… For most of my life, love has meant captivity — you are at the mercy of whoever it is you love. After a destructive relationship a few years ago, I removed my emotional self from my physical self. I don’t think people can see moths or what they’re trapped in. I don’t think I can either. I don’t think I’m a lot different than those moths, except I think about them a lot and they probably don’t think about me very much at all.”

Directed by Siv with videography and photography direction from Evan Alexander Moore & Sanchez Murray, watch the hypnotic, yet disconcerting, video for ‘moths’ here:

‘moths’ is out 15th November via Trapped Animal Records.

Mari Lane
@marimindles