Pop can come in a lot of different flavors. If you're looking towards Half Waif's side of the spectrum, you're treading into a darker side of pop that doesn't stray from the classic messages you get from pop but does introduce some more jagged edges. Half Waif creates dark pop in their new EP form/a, but it doesn't quite reach the high they hoped it would.
For what it does have going for it, there is quite a bit to comment on. The best thing about form/a is how it blends textures. Opening track 'Severed Logic' starts off with a mysterious, almost spacey synth as Half Waif's smooth voice swims over it. Despite the seemingly mechanic nature of the track, it has some great, sweet melodies that really give it a gooey feeling. The way the extra synth percussion line that joins in during the second verse is just fantastic, too. The blend of textures becomes ever more apparent in 'Wave,' where the jagged synths contrast Half Waif's smooth vocals greatly but still work together.
The problem with this album is that it feels like it falls just short of where it could peak on nearly every song. In the case of 'Severed Logic,' the song's best part (that synth percussion beat) really doesn't get developed or utilized where it really could elevate the track more. The industrial, sweet synth at the beginning of 'Frost Burn' sounds really great, but fades to the background, coming back in seemingly out of the blue, in a spot where it doesn't really make sense for it to come back. When the album ends with the downright sad song 'Cerulean,' you're already feeling like you need something more to spice the record up. You won't find it at the end, meaning you won't find it anywhere. The haunting synth and vocal lines are reminiscent of Chelsea Wolfe and actually sound really great, but the rest of the song's mood feels like it ignores it.
Half Waif created a unique dark pop sound in form/a, but didn't quite develop it as she could have. There are so many moments in each song where previously introduced elements could have fit so nicely to bring them up a notch, but sadly the EP never really hits a definitive peak of excellence.
Favorite Track: Cerulean
Least Favorite Track: Night Heat
Rating: 65 / 100
Buy or listen to form/a here: