Half Waif's New Album Comes With a Visual Masterpiece

Half Waif's New Album Comes With a Visual Masterpiece

Half Waif's New Album Comes With a Visual Masterpiece

The Brooklyn band gives V a peek at their stunning photobook, sharing three exclusive photos with us.

The Brooklyn band gives V a peek at their stunning photobook, sharing three exclusive photos with us.

Text: Dominique Norman

Brooklyn-based band Half Waif has released an expansive photography book to accompany their latest album Lavender, and they're sharing three photos from the stunning book exclusively with VThe photobook beautifully illustrates each track, with song lyrics placed next to photos taken by bassist Adan Carlo. Half Waif’s founder and lead singer Nandi Rose Plunkett gives us some insight on the album and the image, along with Celina Carney, the mind behind the costume styling and art direction.  Take a peek at the exclusive images and read the stories behind them below.

"Back in Brooklyn"

Nandi Rose Plunkett: When we were talking about locations for these shoots, we knew right away we had to do this in Brooklyn. Originally, Celina was envisioning a rooftop filled with snow, but despite shooting in early January, there wasn’t any. Even without the snow, there is a yearning to this photo: the lunar rooftop leading out to a creamsicle-colored sunset. I’m actually seated here, but we edited out the chair legs, which creates a strange sensation that I’m hovering, about to fly off the roof and into the blush of evening. “Back in Brooklyn” is a song about returning and reveling in the comfort of the familiar while also discovering that so much has changed in your absence. This photo shows a quiet moment of reflection in the midst of a city that heaves and sighs.

Celina Carney: For me, this song is about feeling disconnected from something that was once familiar. To anyone who’s ever lived in Brooklyn, an apartment rooftop is a familiar scene. But when you’re the only person on that roof, looking out over a city that was once your home, there’s a strong feeling of longing and solitude, reflected in the nature of the song.


Nandi: “Hole in my heart / but all the parts still work at night / when the worry floods me” – this is the lyric we aimed to convey in this photo. Here, the worry is depicted as a floating orb of fabric descending upon me, as I lay firm as a statue in a disfigured pose of receiving. The silver hands are a motif Celina developed for the photobook as an otherworldly element that shifts the vibe of the photos from natural to surreal. In Parts, the individual aspects of domestic life are familiar to the viewer: a white room, a bed, a window with closed blinds. But there is also the feeling we all have that our pain is supernatural; it is something that cannot be contained or controlled. It floats down upon us in the night.

Celina: Partly inspired by Henry Fuseli’s painting “The Nightmare” and a concept originally developed in response to the track “Cerulean” from Half Waif’s form/a EP, we’re attempting here to bring physical form to an internal struggle. The form, a translucent pink cloud, is fleeting and ever-changing, just as ephemeral as a feeling.


Nandi: The twin has been a repeated image in Half Waif iconography for years. We wanted to use that idea in the visual for Leveler, a song about losing someone you love. Playing off the lyrics that speak of water finding its level and the lack of motion when someone leaves, here we show a part of the self that leaps off the edge – eyes closed in faith or resolve – while another part is rooted and still. We don’t see the moment of impact but we anticipate it. In the double exposure effect, we see the whisper of what’s to come, the head that turns to look and learns what it has lost.  

Celina: The concept for this photo takes notes from early works of performance art, which at their best trigger a strong emotional response using only a simple move. The duality of this image, in both the twin characters and in the act of simultaneously letting go and holding on, portrays the complexity in a relationship; be it a relationship with oneself, or with someone who is very far away.


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