Waxahatchee: Cerulean Salt
Comparisons to Kim Deal are unavoidable. Alabama-born Katie Crutchfield has the same sweetly lazy voice as the Pixies/Breeders alt-rock icon while her songs thrum and buzz in a similarly hypnotic manner, the soundtrack to a slow afternoon on an indolently hot summer’s day.
She even has a twin sister who crops up singing backing vocals on “Lively”, the Kelley Deal to her Kim. In lesser hands the affinity would be oppressive, but Crutchfield, in her second album as Waxahatchee, makes it sound like a natural act of progression, a passage from one age to the next. Generational change is the theme of her songs too. They dramatise the limbo between youth and adulthood, a time of intensely felt but aimless relationships and time-filling hedonism, epitomised by the “empty bottles in the closet” her song’s narrator hopes to grow out of in “Swan Dive”. Easy rhythms and thick textures give the music a sense both of simplicity and glueyness, a mesmerising type of lethargy.