WAXAHATCHEE – American Weekend

reviewed by Peter Cauvel | Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

American WeekendBands can spend thousands on production, but some of the best albums come from a noisy home recorder in someone’s bedroom.  American Weekend is one of those albums.

Waxahatchee is Katie Crutchfield, formerly of PS Eliot. She spent a week in her Alabama bedroom recording her lo-fi diary. Her lyrics are simple, but often quite striking, calling to mind lo-fi poet laureate John Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

Crutchfield is a vivid poet, but her lyrics are more than just words. You can hear the desperation in her voice as she says, “I want you so bad it’s devouring me,” in “I Think I Love You.” The raw instrumentation complements the emotions in each song. The head-bopping tambourine adds a youthful whimsy to the summer imagery of “Be Good,” and the beautifully blown-out, echoing piano sounds as nostalgic as Crutchfield when she sings, “You’ve got a husband now/I have Waxahatchee Creek, and you used to come here with me,” on “Nocculala.”

The noisy 8-track recorder recreates Crutchfield’s bedroom and invites the listener in. It sounds like home — hers and yours.

(Don Giovanni Records, PO Box 628, Kingston, NJ 08528)

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