Waxahatchee – 'Cerulean Salt'
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.