There are few who are able to convey tragic misery quite as beautifully and elegantly as Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield. Her confessional lyrics, driven by angelic vocals that pierce straight to the soul, are so intimate that one can feel the songwriter’s vulnerability; and her music has resonated with a wide, cult-like following of admirers. She appropriately draws comparisons to melancholy indie artists Elliott Smith and early Cat Power.
“Swan Dive,” from the Philadelphia based band’s most recent sophomore album Cerulean Salt, features the same simple yet astonishingly forceful lyricism that garnered Crutchfield and Waxahatchee so much support following their first album American Weekend. (Pitchfork gave Cerulean Salt an impressive 8.4 rating if you’re into that sort of thing). Crutchfield performed a solo, acoustic rendition of the song outdoors for Clash Music, and the result is a deeply insightful, personal, dreamlike lullaby. Although plugged in, the acoustic version allows for more emphasis on the song’s lyrics, and one can recall every sad moment when hearing “you hold onto the past, you make yourself miserable / and I’m ruled by seasons and sadness that’s inexplicable”. To sum it up, Crutchfield performing live is just plain moving.
Waxahatchee is currently touring Europe and the UK with band Swearin’, led by Crutchfield’s twin sister Allison, but will return to North America in November with a first stop in Seattle, Washington on the 27th. See the full list of live dates here. The band also recently performed at North Carolina’s Hopscotch Festival, where their set was recorded by NYC Taper; download it here. Be sure to pick up Cerulean Salt and see what all the pretty noise is about.
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