Half Waif, aka Hudson Valley-based singer, songwriter and producer Nandi Rose, will release her ANTI- Records debut The Caretaker on March 27, and Tuesday she shares the video for isolation anthem “Halogen 2,” her forthcoming album’s second single.
“‘Halogen 2’ is a song about isolation and the search for strength. The halogens are some of the most reactive elements on the periodic table, and in this song, winter and a life alone in the country are like halogen: an unrelenting force that produces change,” Rose explains in a statement. “I wrote this song at home in Upstate New York last March at a time when my sense of isolation was at its height. And yet I’ve always been someone who loves my alone time, so there was a sense of shame that I couldn’t handle it this time. I needed to tell myself and anyone witnessing my restlessness: ‘Don’t misunderstand, I do what I must.’”
The “Halogen 2” video—directed and edited by Kenna Hynes, from a concept by Rose and Hynes, and shot in Rose’s house and yard—finds the singer wandering the snowy woods alone, watching a train pass by, then walking in its tracks. She’s clad in a red hoodie and black cloak, as if to insulate herself from the lonely world around her, and the video’s cool tones (colored by Nick Spadaro) further evoke her muted misery. But when the song’s dynamic choruses kick in, we cut abruptly to Nadine Medina, dancing in a bare but warmly lit space, joyous and unbothered in her solitude. When next we see Rose, it’s in her home, the camera darting and shaking around her like an angry swarm of hornets; she sits, forlorn, at her piano, smokes and walks, finding no solace. It’s not until the song’s cathartic climax that Rose casts off her shroud, joining Medina to dance in the cozy glow, moving from what Rose calls “the Blue World of cold, stagnant country life [to] the Orange World of the unfettered, fiery strength that lies beneath.”
The Caretaker follows Half Waif’s acclaimed 2018 album Lavender, while “Halogen 2” follows the LP’s lead single, “Ordinary Talk,” released alongside its announcement in late-January.
Watch the “Halogen 2” video and Half Waif’s 2018 Paste session below, and revisit the details of The Caretaker, “Ordinary Talk” and Half Waif’s spring tour dates here.