Despite its proudly lo-fi nature, Katie Crutchfield’s 2012 debut ‘American Weekend’ made significant underground waves for its smart, emotional directness. This follow-up raises the stakes significantly. The template’s not dissimilar but everything feels amplified and intensified; there’s an electrified crunch and more sense of light and shade in the music’s dynamics. This is intimate, confident songwriting, lent real intrigue by the apparent gap between Crutchfield’s lyrics – which are simultaneously starkly honest and tricksily complex – and the music which is as warm, blunt and welcoming as an old and trusted friend. Then there’s Crutchfield’s voice: a natural, unfussy and wonderfully expressive thing reminiscent of Kim Deal or Nina Nastasia. We’d suggest that ‘Cerulean Salt’ was a indie sleeper hit in the making, but it could well be more widely appreciated than that.
Katie Crutchfield channels PJ Harvey, Cat Power and the less thrashy side of Hole as Waxahatchee. It’s great stuff, and her glorious ‘Cerulean Salt’ album attracted plenty of (thoroughly deserved) hype – catch her here in London as she sings from the equally good follow-up ‘Ivy Tripp’.