Allison Crutchfield – Tourist in This Town

Album Review by Chris Ogden | 27 Jan 2017
  • Alison Crutchfield
Album title: Tourist in This Town
Artist: Allison Crutchfield
Label: Merge
Release date: 27 Jan

The Crutchfield twins have taken lightly diverging paths since their joint venture P.S. Eliot ended in 2011. While Katie’s solo project Waxahatchee has been making waves, Allison has taken a more reserved approach, sharing song-writing duties in her punkier venture Swearin’ and popping up as a member of her sister’s live band. Allison’s debut Tourist in This Town shows she certainly has the potential to go it alone too, provided it’s on her own terms.

With its soulful acappella opening and early-80s synthesisers, Tourist in This Town sees Crutchfield aided by the energetic Joey Doubek on drums and Radiator Hospital's Sam Cook-Parrott. While the Alabama lilt and ramshackle guitars are inescapably present, particularly on the sunny I Don’t Ever Wanna Leave California and the minute-long punk-along The Marriage, the album’s centrepiece Sightseeing makes clear that Crutchfield’s approach is more honest and airy; a little less compact.

She's capable of a corking line too, such as in her acoustic love song Charlie where protagonists ‘sleep in the same bed at the opposite times’. There’s no earworm quite like Waxahatchee's La Loose, but she comes mightily close with Dean’s Song, which combines Swearin’s rambunctious energy with Disintegration-era Cure synth and guitar. One Crutchfield sister is wonderful enough; we’re lucky that both are just as good.

Listen to: Dean's Town, Sightseeing, Miles Away