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Waxahatchee

Cerulean Salt

    Reissue of the second Waxahatchee album.

    On her second full-length record as Waxahatchee, former P.S. Eliot singer Katie Crutchfield’s compelling hyper-personal poetry is continuously crushing.

    On this new record, Crutchfield’s songs continue to be marked by her sharp, hooky songwriting; her striking voice and lyrics that simultaneously seem hyper-personal yet relentlessly relatable, teetering between endearingly nostaglic and depressingly dark. But whereas before the thematic focus of her songcraft was on break ups and passive-aggressive crushing, this record reflects on her family and Alabama upbringing. And whereas American Weekend was mostly just Crutchfield and her guitar, Cerulean Salt is occasionally amped up, with a full band and higher-fi production. At times, Cerulean Salt creeps closer to the sound of PS Eliot: moody, 90s-inspired rock backed by Keith Spencer and Swearin’ guitarist Kyle Gilbride on drums and bass. The full band means fleshed-out fuzzy lead guitars on “Coast to Coast”, its poppy hook almost masking its dark lyrics. Big distorted guitars and deep steady drums mark songs like “Misery over Dispute” and “Waiting”. There’s plenty of American Weekend’s instrospection and minimalism to be found, though. “Blue Pt. II” is stripped down, Crutchfield and her sister Alison (of Swearin’) singing in harmony with deadpan vox. She’s still an open booking, musing on self-doubt versus self-reliance, transience versus permanence. “Peace and Quiet” ebbs and flows from moody, minimal verses to a sing-song chorus. “Swan Dive” tackles nostalgia, transience, indifference, regret over the a minimal strum of an electric-guitar, the picking at a chirpy riff and the double-time tapping of a muted drum. The album closes with a haunting acoustic-guitar reflection on “You’re Damaged,” possibly the best Waxahatchee song to date.

    Waxahatchee

    American Weekend

      Debut album from Waxahatchee aka Katie Crutchfield. The Brooklyn via Alabama artist brings ‘just guitar, her voice, and a piano to tell stories.’ 

      The 11 songs were recorded in a span of seven days on an 8-track recorder.

      Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee at Battletapes with engineer Jeremy Ferguson and producer Tim Kerr, Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires' Youth Detention captures the band in raw form. Each song was cut live to tape, with the four performing in the same room without headphones or baffling.

      The result is thoroughly human, Lynn Bridges' mix retaining the band's live energy and looseness at the expense of a few out of tune strings. The Glory Fires music draws deeply from punk, but also soul, power pop, country, and gospel. Its equal parts careful curation and geographic inheritance. Its the sound of my place, says Bains. I want to know it. I want to argue with it. I dont want to be a band from anywhere that could be doing anything. For me, thats what punk is about -- figuring out who I am and how to be the best version of myself. I cant do that by pretending to be something Im not.

      The songs are deeply rooted in Bains experience of his hometown, Birmingham, AL. Youth Detention depicts a Southern city in the decades surrounding the turn-of-the-millennium: in the throes of white flight, urban disinvestment, racial tension, class struggle, gentrification, gender policing, homophobia, xenophobia, religious fervor, deindustrialization, and economic upheaval. The lyrics could ring true anywhere, though. The South exists in the world and, like the South, the world is increasingly beholden to many of these same tensions and forces. The songs on Youth Detention are meant as small acts of resistance to those systems. Documenting minor moments -- the refusal to sit quietly through a display of bigotry, the act of quieting down and listening to somebody's struggle, sticking up for friends targeted for their difference -- that, hopefully, serve as the beginnings of a more profound awakening.

      Silver Haze is the second full-length by New York City's Aye Nako. The album features 12 songs recorded last year at Room 17 in Brooklyn with Joe Rogers.

      Originally formed to subdue personal boredom, but now operating on another frequency, Aye Nako are actively seeking a planet where those who fall in the margins can feel okay about being themselves. The band has self-released one full length, Unleash Yourself (2013), and also put out an EP, The Blackest Eye (2015), through Don Giovanni Records. They have toured throughout the US with Screaming Females, Joanna Gruesome, and Speedy Ortiz.

      "With every release, the members of the Brooklyn queer punk quartet sharpen their talent for reciprocity between seemingly dissonant elements." - NPR

      "It's hard to ignore the tonal similarities to their tour-mates Speedy Ortiz but Aye Nako differentiate their gnarled noise by mixing unexpected sincerity into otherwise deadpan delivery." - Pitchfork


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