Friday, April 10, 2015

REVIEW: Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp

Ivy Tripp is the third album from Alabama native and former indie/punk rocker Kate Crutchfield, recording and performing as Waxahatchee.  All of us have to, or have had to, go through the various stages of growing up, finding out who we are and becoming at peace with where we are at various stages of life.  What Crutchfield brings to the table is a talent for looking critically at where she is and distilling pieces of it into well-formed songs.  For me, the appeal is in the sincerity of the observations, the soaring but innocent-sounding vocals and the solid songwriting.  The tempos vary from the more stately pace standard with singer songwriter work and crunchy rockers.  While my personal taste favors that latter on this album (although the lovely ballad "Summer of Love" is my current number one), I think all of the songs are well-done and the balance among the various styles works well.  My personal favorites are "Under A Rock", "Poison", "La Loose", "Air", "Grey Hair", and "Summer of Love".

The album presents an intimacy and airiness with makes it appealingly accessible.  We can understand Crutchfield, but we also and fell for her and cheer her progress.   In the final analysis, this is an album to showcase the vocals and lyrical prowess of the artist, and she is more than up to the task in both respects.

Crutchfield was assisted by Kyle Gilbride and Keith Spencer of the band Swearin' in recording Ivy Tripp, and all three share production credit.  The album is out now via Merge Records on vinyl, CD, and as a digital download.

Merge Records page for Ivy Tripp

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