Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp
It takes considerable talent to pull off sincere, confessional songwriting as favorably as Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield. Pairing raw anecdotes with sparse musicianship, the beauty of her adroit compositions is that they hinge upon an immediacy seemingly within the grasp of any narcissistic self-mythologizer who can strum a few chords, articulating feelings so precisely and with such familiarity that they have the air of universal truths.
Yet it’s not anyone who could surmise the coldness of a waning relationship as succinctly (“We just pretend to be strangers lamenting a means to an end”, she sings on Air) or spin La Loose’s two-note piano riff into such a subtly sophisticated earworm. Things get a bit too simple on undercooked piano ditty Grey Hair and cloying nostalgia trip Summer of Love but these are outliers on an otherwise endearing and memorable third album from Crutchfield. Her most polished effort yet. [Andrew Gordon]