Half Waif’s Bruised Synthpop Reaches New Heights On The Benefit Compilation Track ‘Cary’

Last month in Calgary, Canada at Sled Island Festival I had the pleasure of seeing Brooklyn synthpop trio Half Waif live for the first time, and like many others, I was immediately won over as a diehard fan.

The woman behind the project, Nandi Rose Plunkett — who is also a member of another beloved emerging band, Pinegrove — is, as Stereogum reports, the daughter of an Indian refugee from Uganda, which gives her a personal connection to the new benefit compilation that she and her fellow Half Waif bandmates, Zack Levine and Adan Carlo, have contributed a new song to called “Cary,” which you can hear below.

“Cary” builds masterfully on Half Waif’s previous work — two full-lengths and this year’s form/a EP — melding glossy pop textures with much murkier, experimental electronic movements. Above it all floats Plunkett’s wispy but strong voice, sometimes tripled, doubled, or split into a million pieces to make a point or underline a sentiment. Half Waif is definitely future pop; the sound of a woman informed both by the tin and rattle of the radio, and the deeper exploration of her own inner life and the intimate sounds of the underground, independent music world. “Cary” marries these two halves, much like the rest of her work, excavating an old wound and erecting a tower to the bruised emotion, often in the same breath.

As for the rest of the comp, titled So Many Singing, it will benefit immigrant rights via the International Refugee Assistance Project, a New York-based non-profit called that uses both direct legal aid and systemic policy advocacy to fight for the rights of refugees and other displaced people around the world.

Along with Half Waif, many other bands have contributed, including Ratboys, LVL UP, Lionlimb, Wilder Maker, Will Stratton, Zachary Cale, and plenty more.

Pre-order the comp, which is out this Friday, 7/7 on Ruination Record Co., for the very affordable contribution of $10 right here. Furthermore, if you happen to be in Brooklyn this weekend, there is a benefit show to accompany the release on 7/8 at Baby’s All Right. The proceeds from the live show will go toward Make The Road New York, an organization dedicated to reducing poverty in New York City, specifically within Latinx communities. The lineup for the show features EZTV, Tall Friend, Poppies, Sam Kogon, Adeline Hotel, Ben Seretan, Lightning Bug, and Ian Wayne, and begins around 2 PM on Saturday.

Half Waif won’t be playing, as they are currently on tour with the excellent Land Of Talk, but for more from the group listen to form/a below.