Cerulean Salt

Alabama guitarist Katie Crutchfield sings bruising punk ballads about hanging out with other miserable young people and waiting for the fun part to begin, while starting to get the horrible suspicion this might be the fun part. Live, her band does a fantastic punked-up cover of Paul Simon's "The Boy in the Bubble" – and on her superb second album, Cerulean Salt, her songwriting lives up to that level of inspiration. Her first Waxahatchee album, 2012's American Weekend, was solo-acoustic melancholy, but the band here helps bring out all the frayed desperation in her voice, from the power-pop surge of "Coast to Coast" to the soft-spoken rage of "You're Damaged." Sometimes she gets what she wants ("And we are late/And we are loud"), but most times she doesn't ("We will find a way to be lonely any chance we get"). But she always gets a great song out of it.

From The Archives Issue 1180: April 11, 2013
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