Thursday, August 15, 2013

Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Sebadoh, the Breeders, Pavement -- if that makes more sense to you than a random assortment of words then are familiar with early 90s indie rock.  If not, then you can easily familiarize yourself by listening to an album that came out this year.
Waxahatchee is a body of water in Alabama.  For our purposes, Waxahatchee is Katie Crutchfield, a 20-something who has grown up playing in rock bands and who now has started recording under that lengthy moniker.  Cerulean Salt is her second album and is relatively fleshed out from the lo-fi acoustic songs of her debut.  I say “relatively” because most of these 13 songs are still just voice and guitar (usually electric) with the occasional simple drum beat or overdubbed guitar or vocal harmony.  The songs themselves are short and catchy.  Crutchfield has an ear for melody and none of the choruses overstay their welcome. 
The song “Coast to Coast” is just about perfect for these last few weeks of summer.  It’s not even two minutes long and the steady tone of voice and slightly louder guitars sound quite good with the windows rolled down.  Given the bare-bones approach to the arrangements and the brevity of the songs, it’s surprising how much variety is wrung out of the formula.  Anything that can be different, track to track, tends to be.  There is one quick instance of adult language, so keep that in mind if you were planning on using this record to soundtrack your next get-together of hip toddlers.
If you’re looking for more guitar-based indie rock you can check out Mirror Traffic by Stephen Malkmus or Mountain Battles by the Breeders from your Virginia Beach Public Library.

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