Half Waif with Lightning Bug and Ariana Smith
doors at 7:00pm
$14 day of show
$2 off for SPACE members
SPACE is currently requiring masks and vaccination for all event attendees. Medical exemptions can be accommodated. Please refer to our health and safety policies on the SPACE Reader for more information.
Half Waif is the project of singer, songwriter, and producer Nandi Rose. The project–which blends pop, folk, and electronic styles into a layered and transportive sound–has been featured on NPR’s Tiny Desk series, The New York Times, The New Yorker, and Pitchfork; toured internationally with bands like Mitski, Iron & Wine and Calexico; and recently announced her fifth full-length album Mythopoetics with ANTI- Records.
For Nandi Rose, writing a song is an act of transformation. As Half Waif, she pieces together the patchworks of our darkest and most vulnerable moments with a golden thread, crafting a majestic evocation of the human experience that permeates with a graceful strength. On new album Mythopoetics, Rose breaks the familial patterns handed down to her, transforming this source of pain into something bearable, beautiful and celebratory. It is an essential reminder that we have the power to shape the stories we tell and the myths we make of our lives.
Half Waif’s previous albums The Caretaker (2020), Lavender (2018) and Probable Depths (2016), garnered acclaim for their compelling journeys through solitude, desire and the search for independence, blanketed under a spectacle of deeply-layered synth-pop. Her fifth full-length sees her stretch her creative muscles, as Rose pushes through the barriers of self-scrutiny and transports us into a world of mythic proportions. Charting territories of addiction, memory and loss, Mythopoetics is animated by the traces of what’s been left behind: the ghost of orange blossoms, the tail of a meteor across the sky, the taste of loneliness in a crust of bread. It is a kind of modern-day storybook where memory is spun into song and the self is explored and acknowledged with tender, nourishing care.
To bring together the world of Mythopoetics, Rose once again collaborated with multi-instrumentalist, film composer and producer Zubin Hensler. The pair came together for a recording residency at Pulp Arts in Gainesville, Florida, with the intention of creating stripped-back recordings of old songs, solely focusing on Rose and her piano. However, the playground of the studio soon transformed the project into a texturally diverse and kaleidoscopic sonic universe.
“There was a real excitement and joy to see how we had each progressed and evolved since we’d last worked together and how those skills really complement each other,” Rose explains, adding that Hensler’s experience in taking acoustic sounds into an electronic world allowed Mythopoetics to bloom. But despite moving away from the original sonic intention of the record, the pair were keen to keep the organic nature of the sounds, performing every instrument themselves and turning to unconventional methods—like agitating the strings of the piano with the sustain pedal down or placing tin foil over Hensler’s trumpet—to stretch the palette in new directions.
Mythopoetics is an album about processing past traumas in the quest for a new, sun-dappled pathway, and the transformation that takes place as we take each tentative step. The artwork, shot by Ali Cherkis, sees Rose screaming in bright colors on the front, and naked with a stoic expression on the back, representing the spectrum of emotions explored throughout these tracks. Change, evolution and joy take real courage, and it’s in the catharsis of telling your story that the calm, confident aftermath can finally reach the surface. Here, Half Waif is shunning the shadowed mass of generational trauma and the patterns passed down to her. Instead, she plants a seed, urging the orange blossom to sprout through the cracks in the concrete.
“A lightning bug glows with the aid of a chemical called luciferin, derived from Latin for “light-bringer”. Lightning Bug began as three friends who made music together to bring each other light. The music we make continues to hold that purpose at its heart. The music of Lightning Bug is an attempt to record the deepest experiences in the self and connect them outward.”— Audrey Kang
Grounded in a tightly knit friendship and an intuitive musical bond, Lightning Bug’s music, an enveloping mix of rapturous shoegaze, longing balladry, and ambient soundscapes, sits at the centerpoint of a creative exchange among songwriter Audrey Kang, multi-instrumentalist Kevin Copeland, and producer Logan Miley. Despite a knack for sonic eclecticism, each Lightning Bug record holds a magnetic sense of cohesion. Lyrically, the songs document Audrey navigating a relationship with her own humanity, memories fraught with joy and pain, and the constant cycle of tension and release necessary in developing self-trust. Lightning Bug’s music is then the manifestation of dialogues: a musical dialogue amongst members of a sacred creative partnership and an internal one as Audrey plumbs the depths of her own foundation.
Ariana Smith is a Maine-based singer-songwriter, who allows her heart and soul to flourish through words and music. She uses her songs to tell stories, express complex emotions, and welcome listeners in love that may otherwise go unexpressed.
Cover: Half Waif, photo by Ali Cherkis.