Lavender didn't quite strike me right away. Standing in a nearly empty apartment (with perhaps a bit of whiskey), stripped of five years' worth of life, it snuck up on me. Preparing to move more than 7,000 miles around the globe, the only certainty was change. If nothing else, Half Waif's new LP is a journey of the same.

Many have been quick to latch onto Lavender as a tale of loss and woe. To be fair, that isn't much of a leap considering the opening track's ('Lavender Burning') concern for an aging grandmother, as well as the record's overall fascination with death, and its acceptance, among other weighty concerns.

However, this is relegating the album to a gloomier note than intended. Singer/lyricist Nandi Plunkett is far more interested in the passage of time, watching her grandmother age, she sees the passing of a generation, and fully realizes the place of her own.

Following Half Waif's breakthrough EP, form/a, which had been preceded by two unsung albums, Nandi and co have been decidedly bold in leaping directly into a “statement” album, a confident gamble that has paid off massively.

Lavender is deceptively simple, comfortable to be inhabited casually, with gentle synthpop backing much of the emoting, but for those willing (or needing) to dig a bit further, there is a deep reservoir of feeling to be found here. Somehow, jammed into under 40 minutes, is an exploration of generational change, the feminine role in a family, one woman finding her place within it all, and a fondness for water imagery – without ever feeling overwrought or unrealized.

We're not kidding about the water thing; across Lavender people are either falling into the ocean or too weary to cross it (the latter providing a gorgeously melancholic, accepting closing sentiment).

Yet, ultimately, this is an album of mothers. Beginning with the aforementioned grandmother, Lavender gradually turns on Nandi's own mother for the devastating highlight 'Salt Candy', as a daughter confronts her mother's inevitable, tragic inability to ever fully understand her daughter. Naturally, Plunkett isn't slinging mud without purpose: comfortable with a supportive partner during writing and recording, her own potential future had come looming into view.

At some point in time, we all want to revert to childhood. When that loan gets too big, that check doesn't clear, the partner we thought we had isn't down for the ride, some part of you wishes mom and dad were there. Like all of us, Nandi Plunkett “wanted to be carried in [her] mother's arms.” Lavender is what comes when you accept all of that is going and gone. We are on our own, and Half Waif knows there's beauty in that. A scary, fucked up kind of beauty. Consider Lavender a salve. Or, at least, an honest, genuine listen.