For her newest album as Half Waif, Nandi Rose Plunkett knew she needed a change. Just under a year ago, she and Half Waif guitarist Adan Carlo and drummer Zack Levine (who’s also Plunkett’s partner) relocated from their longtime home of Brooklyn to the much quieter, tinier town of Chatham, New York. They now share a home - and a life - in a small town not far from where Plunkett grew up in Williamstown, MA.
Living this close to home for the first time in years, with a long-term partner, away from the madness of the big city, Plunkett was able to approach her music more consciously than ever before. On Lavender, Half Waif’s sophomore album, she’s unsparing and honest as she explores the complex, potentially ephemeral nature of familial and romantic relationships. Although it’s not unfamiliar subject matter for Half Waif, over the band’s most assured and robust electronic art pop arrangements to date (not to mention some truly haunting piano ballads), Plunkett’s almost philosophical straightforwardness is profoundly bone-chilling, maybe even radical. “There’s something to be said for...crafting something with the conscious thought of, ‘Okay, I want to write the song in this manner. I want to come into it with this specific goal,’” she tells AdHoc over the phone, with Carlo also on the line, as she recounts Lavender’s genesis. Her deliberacy has resulted in a thrilling next step for an already exciting act.
Lavender is out April 27 via Cascine. You can catch the record release show with Hovvdy and Lily and Horn Horse at Baby’s All Right tomorrow April 27.
Adan, how has being in Chatham, where you haven’t previously spent much time, influenced your writing with Nandi and Zack?
Adan Carlo: Being up here offered us the opportunity to really be 100% in a creative space. In a place like Brooklyn or even somewhere like Montclair...we wouldn’t necessarily be living together. We wouldn’t have been able to focus on [making Lavender] as much as we did. It was waking up, working on it…’til we were going to bed.
Nandi Rose Plunkett: We don’t really see anyone else except for each other. [Laughs] There are days that are just completely filled with making music. It’s great; we don’t have anything else to do. [Laughs]
embody dissonance so naturally that it’s hard to imagine any other modus operandi for the New York trio. The way they wield atonality is almost Schoenbergian in its bravado. Their confidence, built up over years of uncompromising performances, now allows their songs to shine bright through a distorted pop prism. True heads will know that small-scale anthems have always been nestled deep within Palberta’s thorny world.
“Roach Goin’ Down,” the title track off their upcoming 22-track release on Wharf Cat Records
, is one of these gems, focusing on rhythmic execution and vocal communion. Cowbells and hand claps dance atop a propulsive beat, as twisted harmonies alternate between cryptic reflections: “A new life, sitting in a new house/ A new house, sitting in a new life.” Suffice it to say: “Roach Goin’ Down” slaps. In fact, it’s probably never been easier to shake it to a Palberta song. Will you join us?
Roach Goin’ Down
drops June 15th on Wharf Cat Records
. You can catch Palberta on their upcoming US & Canadian tour
In her early twenties, Allie Hanlon relocated from her hometown of Ottawa, Canada to Los Angeles. She describes the move as “being thrown into a big, busy place”; getting to know a new city was exciting, but she was still apprehensive about leaving everything she knew behind. Growing up in Ottawa, she’d been surrounded by people she knew; in Los Angeles, she felt an overwhelming sense of loneliness.
Through that time of transition, one constant was Peach Kelli Pop
, a pop project she’d begun in her bedroom in Ottawa. Over time and across borders, the project has evolved from a solo endeavor into a full-fledged rock band. The band’s new EP, Which Witch,
is a departure from the upbeat, bright punk sound of previous releases, as it takes a more melancholy turn.
AdHoc: You started Peach Kelli Pop band in 2009 as more of a bedroom pop project. How has the project evolved?
Allie Hanlon: Peach Kelli Pop has changed in a lot of different ways. It’s been nine years now since I started the project. In that time, I had to learn how to essentially play with a full band. On top of writing songs, and then learning different instruments, I had to teach these songs to whoever I was playing with. That really changed everything—it definitely became a bigger, more complicated venture.
Also, in the time since I started the band, I immigrated to the US from Canada. That really changed things, because I was in a new place where I didn’t know that many people. I had to get out there and make new friends and collaborate with people. I’m not really an extrovert, so it was out of my comfort zone. I think when you have a solo project and you don’t play shows, it’s really easy. But when you start to perform, and you have to train people, it becomes almost like a full-time job. It’s definitely taught me a lot of skills: social skills, and also teaching skills, which I didn’t realize was something I’d be learning. It’s been really cool, and I’ve learned a lot from it.
I read that the song “Los Angeles” is about your move from Canada to Los Angeles. What was that like for you?
I was born and raised in Ottawa. It’s a really amazing city. I was with my family, who are awesome, and the people I grew up with, who were my best friends and who knew me really well. And that’s something that I definitely took for granted, because I had never experienced anything else.
When I was in my early 20s, I was really eager to move, to try new things, to see the world and to be on my own. And I got to do that. When I moved, I was thrown into this big, busy place. It was really exhilarating, [but] after a few years, I realized that having a support system is really helpful. And I didn’t really have that [in LA]. While I do have close friends, it’s not really the same as your family or friends that have known you since you were a little kid, you know? Even though I’ve been here for five years now, I still feel kind of new. When you’re in a place like LA, you can feel isolated to the point of being unable to tap into the abundance of opportunities that a place like LA has to offer.
In Ottawa, there aren’t the same kind of opportunities. In LA, you can make a living off of music and art, which is really cool. But it’s not as easy when you don’t have a support system. But, you know, I think lots of people in LA aren’t from here. So I’m sure I’m not the only person who feels like that.
The phenomenal Laraaji came to National Sawdust last Friday, March 30 for a sold out performance with support from trio Dallas Acid. Check out some incredible shots taken by Lauren Khalfayan below!
Danish punk band Iceage brought their incredible 'Opening Nights' residency to New York last week. Nick Karp captured some intimate snaps of Thursday night's show at Kinfolk 90 with support from Gong Farmer, check them out below!
Missed out on our two showcases at SXSW last week? No worries! Catch up with this sweet assortment of professional and polaroid pics from both of our showcases at Cheer Up Charlies in Austin!!
Palm (cred: Hayden Sitomer/AdHoc Staff)
Last Saturday March 17th, Danny L Harle brought his epic HARLECOR3 show featuring Serena Jana, Jen Mas, DJ Ocean and DJ Fuck to the Sunnyvale stage. Nick Karp got some sweet snaps of the evening – check them out below!
If there’s one thing Lucy Niles and Josée Caron drive home with the absurdist pop- punk they make as Partner, it’s that laughter can be key to survival. The Ontario rock band’s discography includes rambunctious, Ween-inspired odes to actress and queer icon Ellen Page, weed-induced ice cream binges, and stories of faking sick to watch Judge Judy.
Niles and Caro have been friends since college, and describe their music as an “exploration of intimacy, friendship, sexuality, drugs, and the existential predicament of being a lesbian barista in the year 2017.” They are both queer, and frequently get asked if they are together. In response, they wrote a song called “We’re Gay, But Not For Each Other.”
Ahead of their show at Silent Barn on April 13
, we talked with the band about queer visibility, the subversive possibilities of humor, and Blink-182.
AdHoc: How did the band start?
Lucy Niles: We all met at university.
Josée Caron: We hung out a lot at the meal hall...we had a lot of good times. [Laughs.]
Was there a specific moment when you knew that you wanted to start a band together?
Lucy: [When we first met], we knew that we wanted to start a band together, but we didn't start this band until like seven years later. We were in other bands together before that.
A lot has changed for Lindsey Jordan since she played her first show in 2015, assembling an ad hoc crew to open for Priests and Sheer Mag at a festival. Snail Mail’s
jangly, introspective sound—layered with the Ellicot City, Maryland native’s carefully constructed lyrics—belies the band’s spontaneous origins. In a little under three years, they’ve released an EP on Priest’s Sister Polygon
label, toured the United States, and signed to a major indie—all while Lindsey was finishing up high school. Ahead of Snail Mail’s debut studio album, which is due out on Matador
this summer, she spoke to us about being a feminist musician, balancing schoolwork with touring, and growing up.
What inspired you to start playing music?
I don't know—it's just a hobby. I started playing guitar when I was five, and I didn't start writing songs until I was 12 or 13. I recorded an EP on Apple Garageband a really long time ago that's not on the internet anymore, and I formed a live band to play this one show—just for fun. Then we recorded the EP, Habit
, because we had some friends that were willing to help us with it. Originally, our goal was to do these five or six songs, or whatever. I mean, I never really intended for it to go well, you know?
What's the scene like in Baltimore? Was there any particular show or band or space that was really inspiring to you?
I hung out a lot at Black Cat in DC. I saw a lot of punk bands there, and I feel like that world was pretty encouraging as far as starting your own band. I don't know about now, but there are a lot of really great record stores in Baltimore. Celebrated Summer in Hampden is where I discovered a lot of the punk music I really love now.
DC is a really big place for punk. It's a really big creative hub, with a lot of DIY spaces, and there are a lot of young people doing awesome stuff. I have some friends who play in punk bands in Baltimore. I think [Baltimore has] got a culture of people who work really hard and think outside the box.
Last Wednesday March 7th, Secret Circle (WIKI, Antwon, Lil Ugly Mane) played their second crazy Brooklyn show this month at Market Hotel. Nick Karp was there to capture the magic – check out his images below.