Preview: Waxahatchee_lowres


Listening to Katie Crutchfield's home-recorded 2012 debut American Weekend, it was hard not to want the sharp lyrical imagery and precise melodies to puncture the bubble of her incessant, monochromatic guitar weeps. ("I hide out from telephone wires at Waxahatchee Creek," she sings on "Rose, 1956," addressing the titular elder in a lo-fi slow drag familiar to any fan of "Bottle Rocket"-era Elliott Smith: "Your body weak from smoke and tar and subsequent disease/ You got married when you were 15.") With last year's Cerulean Salt (Don Giovanni), Crutchfield grants the wish and then some: 13 tracks, averaging two-and-a-half minutes each, that grow in both directions, her pop songs cleaner and more immediate ("Lips and Limbs, "Swan Dive"), her punk roots sprouting gnarled, 90-second interloper interludes ("Waiting," "Misery Over Dispute"). Between those two kneecappings lives her best composition yet, "Lively," a perfect middle of surface-tension vocals and soft fist-on-the-table drumming, and the loveliest song about heroin abuse to come along in years. "I had a dream last night/ We had hit separate bottoms/ You yell right in my face/ And I poison myself numb and/ You will lick your wounds/ In only the most crowded room." With lines like that, the rooms will only get more crowded. Radiator Hospital, ArchAnimals and Pope open. Tickets $8 in advance, $10 day of show. — Noah Bonaparte Pais