Waxahatchee: Cerulean Salt 12"
On this new record, KATIE CRUTCHFIELD songs continue to be marked by her sharp, hooky songwriting; her striking voice and lyrics that simultaneously seem hyper-personal yet relentlessly relatable, teetering between endearingly nostaglic and depressingly dark. But whereas before the thematic focus of her songcraft was on break ups and passive-aggressive crushing, this record reflects on her family and Alabama upbringing. And whereas American Weekend was mostly just Crutchfield and her guitar, Cerulean Salt is occassionally amped up, with a full band and higher-fi production. At times, Cerulean Salt creeps closer to the sound of PS ELIOT: moody, íî90s-inspired rock backed by KEITH SPENCER and SWEARINí´ guitarist KYLE GILBRIDGE on drums and bass. The full band means fleshed-out fuzzy lead guitars on íÍCoast to Coastíñ, its poppy hook almost masking its dark lyrics. Big distorted guitars and deep steady drums mark songs like íÍMisery over Disputeíñ and íÍWaitingíñ. Thereí´s plenty of American Weekendíîs instrospection and minimalism to be found, though. íÍBlue Pt. IIíñ is stripped down, Crutchfield and her sister ALISON (of Sweariní´) singing in harmony with deadpan vox. Sheí´s still an open booking, musing on self-doubt versus self-reliance, transience versus permanence. íÍPeace and Quietíñ ebbs and flows from moody, minimal verses to a sing-song chorus. íÍSwan Diveíñ tackles nostalgia, transience, indifference, regretíïover the a minimal strum of an electric-guitar, the picking at a chirpy riff and the double-time tapping of a muted drum. The album closes with a haunting acoustic-guitar reflection on íÍYouí´re Damaged,íñ possibly the best WAXAHATCHEE song to date.