Katie Crutchfield is a natural at writing confessional pop songs. Since picking up the guitar as a teenager she has spent the better part of her young adult life travelling the country to play basement shows for feminist punks with bands like P.S. Eliot, Bad Banana and The Ackleys, all of which she sang for. Crutchfield and her twin sister Allison were best known as P.S. Eliot, a band that developed a cultish underground following until disbanding in 2011. Deciding to go it alone, Crutchfield became Waxahatchee and released her debut album American Weekend in 2012 and its lo-fi acoustic guitar-pop songs made for one of the year’s best unsung records.
With 2013’s Cerulean Salt, Crutchfield turned it up a notch and plugged in the guitar as well as adding a few band mates. A more accomplished and polished record, but no less intimate and affecting, the strength of Cerulean Salt lies in the simplicity and purity of its songs; a quality that ties them to millennial pop-punk, with melodies that immediately penetrate alongside Crutchfield’s frank vocal, delivering devastating, straight-from-the-heart lyrics backed by lacerating guitars and slouchy basslines. Upon its release it garnered critical acclaim across the board from press and earned an 8.4 score and “Best New Music” tag from Pitchfork – they also included the album in their list of the best albums of the decade so far
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