on 18 March 2013
Last year's "American weekend" was a slow and subtle collection of lo-fi acoustic songs.
It held some real beauties, like "Catfish", "Grass stain" and "Bathtub" and was recorded
at her parents home during a single week in the winter. Pretty poor sound quality couldn't
ruin the impression of a major talent at work.
On "Cerulean Salt" she enlists the help of a three-piece band and the result is an album
with few flaws. The opening five songs make up for a perfect succession of songs, maybe
with "Brother Bryan" as the shiniest among them, and it's not much on it worth skipping.
I think the up-tempo rockers are the weakest tracks. By no means bad songs, they remind
me of another good album; Belly's "Star", but I still think these songs doesn't suit
her as well as the slow ones.
Cat Power is maybe the most obvious reference point here, and it will surprise me if this
doesn't go down especially well with people who have a soft spot for the "Moon Pix" album.
In some ways she can also be likened to Nina Nastasia.
4.5 stars. Beautiful stuff.
on 30 March 2014
An excellent album from Waxahatchee which is basically just Katie Crutchfield on vocals/guitars with a few friends helping out.
It's 13 short tracks (only 3 exceed 3 minutes) of very sparse & intimate music carried mostly by just Katie's emotive voice and suitable bursts of guitar when needed.
Her voice is very evocative of a lot of female singers from late 80s/early 90s bands such as Throwing Muses (Kristin Hersh), Bratmobile, Shannon Wright, Kathleen Hanna etc etc and is quite breathy on quiet tracks e.g 'lips and limbs' (which has some nice twangy guitar) going up through plaintive/heartfelt on many tracks to getting quite shouty on 'misery over dispute'.
There's a duet with her sister Allison on 'Blue Pt 11' beautifully sounding like The Breeders when they were having some quieter moments.
It's a fine album, if somewhat downbeat, and worthy of 9 out of 10.
on 25 February 2015
It reminds me of Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, which is a good thing. The album has light and shade and has not been over produced. Some indie singer-songwriters album can too formatted and predictable. Cerulean Salt is varied with Dixie Cups and Jars and Coast to Coast being catchy pop songs, while others are slower and sparse sounding. I'm looking forward to the new album.