Published Mar 26, 2020On her latest album as Half Waif, Nandi Rose wonders down a triumphant journey within, lingering on supersaturated moments of her past through the lens of a different version of herself, one that is enlightened and wary of the necessary hardships. Rose's immaculate voice has an affectionate tone, comforting and nudging us along an array of hope in these disconcerting times.
The Caretaker is crystal clear, vividly displaying Rose's seamless pop songwriting with a high theatrical value to match. The panning, rippling synth riff on "Siren" takes a perceived density and shifts its weight between uneasiness and a firmness to keep going as Rose sings, "I'm going to be your siren and there's no turning me off." Overtop a cold mechanical drum machine on "My Best Self," Rose sounds like she is from the ominous near future, giving advice to her present self with angelic form, "Be the one you want to be, see how you want to be seen, feel the love of who you'll be."
Rose's voice lifts like a clean white sheet floating in a light breeze and her sustained keyboards are tender and stirring, dilating with the gurgling bass lines on the pulsating "Clouds Rest" and later, gracefully naked on the vulnerable "Brace." Following the prismatic instrumental "Lapsing" at the mid-point of the album, The Caretaker rises up from the sense of restlessness with "Halogen 2," as Rose heartily belts out, "Don't misunderstand, I do what I must," with soaring affirmation and acceptance. With The Caretaker, Rose is finding strength in self-discovery and returning to the present with delicate repose. (Anti)