11 Jul 2014 — Henry Schiller
Operating in the startlingly coherent common ground between AlunaGeorge and Enya is Half Waif. Her album KOTEKAN seamlessly blends the soothing, pre-Raphaelite aesthetic of early-90s new age music with the slick, condensed sensibilities of contemporary ‘LDN’ electronica. KOTEKAN sounds like a collection of Celtic lullabies for millennials suckled on the output of labels like Warp and FatCat; 'contemporary classical' for those who are allergic to the term. An album that paints tarot cards on the backs of BOSS samplers and molds birthstones out of crushed subway tokens.
Half Waif is Nandi Rose Plunkett, a Brooklyn-based synthpop artist with a keen ear for the kind of contemporary classical music that a lot of her musical peers think they don’t have time for. Plunkett's vocals are the driving force behind KOTEKAN's disarming beauty, and they are simply awe-inspiring. On "Octave" Plunkett’s voice ululates around synthesizer swells that would make Toto weep before diving headlong into a wellspring of percussive lashes. Her voice soars to heights an albatross might envy on the arpeggio-gold rush of “Normandy”, a track that might successfully be described as 'Enya sings “The Colors of the Wind”'.
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