I really liked the 90’s American indie feel to ‘Under A Rock’, the first single taken from Waxahatchee’s Autumn 2015 long player Ivy Trip. The loud, naked guitars, pulsating drums and clean vocal delivery struck a nostalgic chord and spoke to my inner alt country rock fan.
So I admit to not having the immediate love for this I perhaps should when I first heard its casio keyboard drums and cute vocals. It took a couple of listens for the warm keyboard tones wrapped in a shimmery pop sheen to click for me.
It’s testament to the talents and scope of Katie Crutchfield’s songwriting that she can be just as affecting and downright enjoyable when using a retro drum machine and synths as she is with guitar driven roller coaster rides. Not that guitars have been totally ignored here. Just used drone-like to add shading to an economical piece of music that’s sure footed and charming.
The sweet melodic lead and catchy woo woo woo-ohh-woo backing vocal lull and cradle you, as the minimal arrangement and simple rhythm and bass line get you into a head nodding sense of happy song security. Then the dark lyrics of longing and desperation born of a relationship gone askew start to reveal the song’s bleak underbelly.
The bittersweet balance of the sound and lyrical content work perfectly to deliver a resonant and memorable (you’ll be woo woo woo-ohh-wooing in your sleep) piece of work that captures something of the ineffable in love and longing.
A song that challenges (my) preconceptions and delivers a gorgeous slice of subversive pop. I look forward to this talented songwriter defying expectations and making brave, beautiful music for years to come.
Review by Sean Daly
Watch the video for ‘La Loose’: