Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Today’s song, featured on the Morning Show with John Richards, is “Coast to Coast” by Waxahatchee from the 2013 album Cerulean Salt on Don Giovanni.
Named for a creek in her native Alabama, Waxahatchee is the vehicle for Katie Crutchfield’s unadorned and confessional songwriting. Raised in the underground Birmingham punk scene, Crutchfield and her twin sister, Allison, were members of P.S. Eliot until 2011, when Allison went to front Swearin’ and Katie recorded her first heartbreaking album as Waxahatchee, 2012’s American Weekend. Now with a full band at her disposal, Crutchfield has fleshed out and fully realized her sophomore album, Cerulean Salt, lifting Waxahatchee (slightly) out of the underground and into a flurry of blogosphere press and SXSW showcases. One of Cerulean Salt’s more upbeat numbers, “Coast to Coast” finds Crutchfield coming out – emotionally and musically – with guns blazing. Although outside of her usual bedroom-and-recorder setting, Crutchfield attacks with her rough guitar playing and honest lyrics with all of the attitude of a southern belle and none of the decorum. “You search the AM for Coast To Coast/ I’ll try to embrace the lows,” sings Crutchfield. There’s little assurance in her voice, but there’s plenty of confidence in her vulnerability, which is about as punk as it gets.
Crutchfield and her band are back in Brooklyn this week, but keep an eye on their Facebook page for updates on when and where they’ll play next. For now, watch a video of Crutchfield playing “Be Good” live for NPR at their SXSW 2013 showcase: