5 Questions: Nandi Rose Plunkett of Half Waif

Half-Waif-TrioZ-credit-Tonje-Thilesen-hires_cropped Half Waif | Photo credit: Tonje Thilesen

Nandi Rose Plunkett is a singer, songwriter, and producer who writes and performs under the name Half Waif. The project, which blends pop and experimental electronic sounds, has been featured in the New Yorker, Village Voice, Pitchfork, and NPR, among others. Half Waif will release their third full-length album Lavender on 4/27.  


1. What’s been keeping you up at night?
Dreams of terrifying animals. Last night it was flesh eating fish in a swimming pool. I have these dreams all the time – of bears, deep ocean creatures, rodents. I love sleeping but I’m not a great sleeper. I wake up a lot in the night, and usually these vivid dreams haunt me as I lay in bed, searching for a scrap of something more serene. I read once that the chemical in our brains that produces crazy dreams is the same that affects mood swings. That makes a lot of sense to me because I’m a particularly moody person.

Photo credit: Ally Schmaling

2. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen or heard lately?
On the topic of animals, I just started listening to this new podcast This Is Love (we do a lot of podcasts in the van on tour) and there was an episode about a woman who swam with a baby whale and helped it find its missing mother. I really love animals, even if they manifest as frightening in my dreams sometimes, and this story touched me so deeply. I was crying, which is not safe when you’re driving! But I was so moved by this story of a love deeper than language. That’s really what love is, actually. It doesn’t need language and we are all capable of expressing and receiving it. The more I tour and lose mooring, and the more I find parts of myself disseminated and twisted and pulled through social media, the more I need to find grounding in the people I love and who love me. So the This is Love podcast is good medicine for that.

Photo credit: Ally Schmaling

3. What’s the most exciting thing you¹re working on right now?
A new music video that I’m dreaming up with two of my close friends. When I’m writing songs, I tend to think very visually – I often imagine videos to songs even when there’s no way I’ll make a video for everything. I think I also just conceive of my life in general as cinematic – or at least I aspire to live a life that beautiful and filled with meaning. When I read Patti Smith’s book M Train, I felt a connection because she also writes of every mundane moment in her life as if it’s a mystical encounter. Why not experience your days as poetry in motion? So I’m excited to actually be developing one of these fantastical scenarios for a song off our upcoming record Lavender.

4. If you could add anyone, alive or dead to your team, who would it be?
I would like to have Maggie Nelson join my team as my personal Conversationalist. Every topic she touches in her books is gold. She’s not on social media, because she feels her ideas are too nuanced and complicated to express in a condensed sound byte. So I would get off stage and we would just chat and she would remind me of so many worlds beyond the music industry, beyond the internet, and my brain and heart would grow.

Photo credit: Ally Schmaling

5. When the movie of your life is made, what will it be called?
“For the Love of Croissants”

Photo credit: Ally Schmaling