Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

There's been some talk about this on different threads, so I figured it might as well get its own.

I really like this record! Like someone wrote, channeling early Liz Phair, and I might add sisters Hersh/Donnelly at their more harmonic. Plus maybe a touch of Athens, Ga. It's very 90s, in the best sense. Not particularly original, but very good.


Mule, Friday, 13 September 2013 10:47 (eight years ago) link

I liked it. I haven't heard it much since spring though. I liked her performance at Pitchfork too

first I think it's time I kick a little verse! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 13 September 2013 11:11 (eight years ago) link

I also like this record a lot, but haven't spent quite enough time with it yet to know why.

the vineyards where the grapes of corporate rock are stored (cryptosicko), Friday, 13 September 2013 14:10 (eight years ago) link

i love it

Mordy , Friday, 13 September 2013 14:18 (eight years ago) link

thought about starting a combination waxahatchee/swearin' thread the other day, guess i'll just start a swearin' thread on its own

this record is very good tho

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Friday, 13 September 2013 15:55 (eight years ago) link

Swearin', that's the sister, right? Haven't heard it yet. Will check out.

Mule, Friday, 13 September 2013 18:24 (eight years ago) link

I like it pretty well, gives me more of a K Recs / Kill Rock Stars vibe, Lois Maffeo and stuff like that. Moreso than Liz Phair. But yeah in any case very '90s. Gonna check out Swearin'.

dmr, Friday, 13 September 2013 19:30 (eight years ago) link

oh this is a new album ... American Weekend is the one I've heard

dmr, Friday, 13 September 2013 19:30 (eight years ago) link

it's making me want to listen to the Spinanes so that's good I think

dmr, Friday, 13 September 2013 19:33 (eight years ago) link

I like it but something's keeping me from really liking it. I don't know. Maybe it's that Tanya Donelly, Kristin Hersh, Juliana Hatfield et al all have new music that's getting maybe 1/10 the attention

katherine, Friday, 13 September 2013 20:08 (eight years ago) link

Yeah, just checked out American Weekend yesterday and that one gives me a slightly different vibe. YThe k records link seems aapt. liked that one too, but didn't quite hit the spot like the new one did. But will listen more.


Mule, Saturday, 14 September 2013 08:51 (eight years ago) link

y'all owe it to yourselves to check out p.s. eliot

emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Saturday, 14 September 2013 14:55 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

Finally checked out P.S.Eliot. Great stuff!

Mule, Saturday, 27 September 2014 19:16 (seven years ago) link

three months pass...


Mordy, Monday, 12 January 2015 20:58 (six years ago) link

Sounds like the new record might be a little different from the previous two. But I've liked everything she's done so far. Have also noticed that I've liked a lot of stuff coming out of/through Philadelphia recently...though I guess both Crutchfields have since moved to New York.

...J, Tuesday, 13 January 2015 21:13 (six years ago) link

one month passes...
one month passes...

New album streaming on NPR for some regions (not mine):


That shit right there is precedented. (cryptosicko), Monday, 30 March 2015 12:26 (six years ago) link

really like the new one, it's giving me some major 90s indie nostalgia

ciderpress, Wednesday, 15 April 2015 03:10 (six years ago) link

Great article. Love the new album. I don't see it as being as good as Cerulean Salt, but it does seem like a grower, so maybe it will get there for me in time.

Fatalist AmandaPalmistry (irrational), Wednesday, 15 April 2015 17:33 (six years ago) link

wait i might like this one better than cerulean salt!

the sound of it is... more open? idk if that makes sense. sonically it reminds me of the p.s. eliot records

This album is often a stone bore and I'm trying to figure out if it's her melodic sense or if the songs suffer from malnourishment.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 April 2015 18:17 (six years ago) link

wait i made that claim before i got to the second half which gets very... flimsy.

gonna listen to p.s. eliot

better off listening to T.S. Eliot imo

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 April 2015 18:51 (six years ago) link

it feels like an album of demos that never got fleshed out

call all destroyer, Wednesday, 15 April 2015 18:55 (six years ago) link

idk I love this album

courtney barnett formula (seandalai), Thursday, 23 April 2015 23:56 (six years ago) link

agree with cad but sounding like demos isn't really a negative for me in this case. i used to be a die-hard gbv fan so i've already bought into the 'just throw down a verse and a chorus or 2 and then move on' approach to songwriting

ciderpress, Friday, 24 April 2015 02:50 (six years ago) link

There's this annoying thing she does that sounds like she's unnecessarily pausing for breath in the middle of a phrase, kinda kills the song when it happens, her vocal lines sound ponderous more often than not.

Matt DC, Friday, 24 April 2015 13:14 (six years ago) link

one year passes...

The p4k review of the p.s. Eliot reissue brought me back to that first p.s. Eliot album for the first time in awhile, goddamn this is great stuff. This record is basically what I wish pop punk sounded like. It's so loose but stuffed with hooks.

carly reagan jepsen (2011nostalgia), Thursday, 8 September 2016 06:05 (five years ago) link

two months pass...


Treeship, Monday, 5 December 2016 12:39 (four years ago) link

old song. just, you know, good.

Treeship, Monday, 5 December 2016 12:40 (four years ago) link

four months pass...

I've liked her in the past, but her records always end up being kind of ephemeral for me. This sounds a lot brighter, bigger and poppier than her older stuff, though, and I think its pretty great:


some sad trombone Twilight Zone shit (cryptosicko), Friday, 21 April 2017 17:28 (four years ago) link

yeah this is great

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Friday, 21 April 2017 18:25 (four years ago) link

her sister's new album is really good - I've seen reviews talking about the use of synths etc but to me it sounds like a throwback indie singer-songwriter album

boxedjoy, Friday, 21 April 2017 22:05 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...

that ep of early recordings from last year is incredible

Treeship, Saturday, 13 May 2017 16:55 (four years ago) link

I've been listening to all three of her albums recently. Much better than I think people realize.

Treeship, Saturday, 13 May 2017 17:06 (four years ago) link

Like, ivy tripp holds up after a quadrillion replays.

Treeship, Saturday, 13 May 2017 17:09 (four years ago) link

ya, i'm stoked abt the new album too

he not like the banana (Stevie D(eux)), Saturday, 13 May 2017 17:15 (four years ago) link

three weeks pass...


New single out and it totally rules

josh az (2011nostalgia), Wednesday, 7 June 2017 04:38 (four years ago) link


niels, Wednesday, 7 June 2017 17:52 (four years ago) link

one month passes...

This new one is streaming on NPR first listen and on my first listen it is their best record, or at least the best since the P.S. Eliot Sadie record which was just dynamite.

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 11 July 2017 15:05 (four years ago) link

This is great ^ thanks

Unchanging Window (Ross), Tuesday, 11 July 2017 18:10 (four years ago) link

ditto - love this. on my third listen.

Mordy, Tuesday, 11 July 2017 18:37 (four years ago) link

this is really good, and i wasn't prior a Waxahatchee fan

sean gramophone, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 00:39 (four years ago) link

Love it. A step up from the last record for sure.

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Wednesday, 12 July 2017 14:41 (four years ago) link

was never a huge fan before, but this new one shook me to my core

austinb, Wednesday, 12 July 2017 23:52 (four years ago) link

"no question" rules

reggie (qualmsley), Monday, 17 July 2017 19:51 (four years ago) link

As does "Hear You"

josh az (2011nostalgia), Tuesday, 18 July 2017 05:05 (four years ago) link

The single is terrific but the album as a whole is just so rote and straight down the line. I give every album a dutiful listen because there's the kernel of something great in there but she's really hampered by a lack of musical imagination.

Matt DC, Tuesday, 18 July 2017 07:13 (four years ago) link

one year passes...

I just interviewed her and she was a goddamn delight. I always worry about talking to artists I have a really string connection to that maybe it'll hurt the connection somehow, but she was so thoughtful and pleasant.

Also Great Thunder is nice little EP

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Monday, 21 January 2019 17:34 (two years ago) link

that's awesome! look forward to reading the interview when it's published.

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:01 (two years ago) link

the opening line to sparks fly can sometimes, by itself, make me tear up. "i take it back i was never alone." idk if i've shared this on ilx before

Trϵϵship, Tuesday, 22 January 2019 00:02 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

I love every Waxahatchee album but this one's pretty immediately my favorite.

geoffreyess, Friday, 27 March 2020 14:35 (one year ago) link

listened twice, haven't really absorbed the lyrics but feels like it's her sturdiest songwriting for sure, just some absolutely marvelous, effortless-sounding tunes.

particularly pleased with the fact that the song with the Fleetwood Mac-ish opening riff is called "Witches."

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:24 (one year ago) link

I think Cerulean Salt will remain my fave, but this is a great album

Mule, Saturday, 28 March 2020 18:55 (one year ago) link

Really feeling this album. More polished but in a good way

husked, tonal wails (irrational), Monday, 30 March 2020 21:42 (one year ago) link

will listen tonight while making pizza. i love waxahatchee so much.

treeship., Monday, 30 March 2020 21:44 (one year ago) link

Didn't see this till now...really liked the last one, I'll check Bandcamp tonight.

clemenza, Monday, 30 March 2020 21:47 (one year ago) link

Her pronounced Dylanisms on the new album are charming, even if the songs are a bit samey; I tend to like her best when she aims for a bigger sound, as on the last album. "Lilacs" is the immediate standout, for me.

Maria Edgelord (cryptosicko), Saturday, 4 April 2020 16:21 (one year ago) link

five months pass...

i think this is -- for now -- my favorite band. it's crazy, all of a sudden (last five years lol) they aren't a newish group, but a band with a formidable back catalog i can tap into whenever i want, which is everyday.

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 16:06 (one year ago) link

"can't do much" is one of the great love songs of all time, i think. this verse:

When you're missing me or what you see
Something wild that you think you'll never be
Something safe that you could tend to and lead
Something versatile to fill all your needs

in other hands, this would be a troubling, maybe cynical sort-of-psychoanalytic insight--that people really fall in love with an idea rather than a person. specifically, they fall in love with the idea that the beloved will compensate for the things they lack in themselves.

but she pivots. she knows this is part of love, this play of projections, but it's not something to lament. it's how people are, and the reason they can come to feel they need one another. or something like that. there's something to think about here.

Maybe I give it to you all on a dime
I love you til the day I
Love you til the day I
Love you til the day I
Love you til the day I die
I guess it don't matter why

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 16:16 (one year ago) link

"fire" is equally good. st. cloud is just a tremendous album.

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 16:17 (one year ago) link

her best

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 7 September 2020 17:08 (one year ago) link

I didn't really spent too much time with this album at first because i figured it was too "happy" and "bright" for my miserable ass at the start of the pandemic, but I've really come around to it in the past month or so. It's her best since Cerulean Salt

josh az (2011nostalgia), Monday, 7 September 2020 17:33 (one year ago) link

it's a hard won "brightness" though. doesn't feel trite.

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 21:33 (one year ago) link

but i agree with you. i thought i would miss the darkness of the earlier stuff.

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 21:33 (one year ago) link

hard-won brightness is a good way to put it!

josh az (2011nostalgia), Monday, 7 September 2020 22:39 (one year ago) link

her songwriting has gotten so good. i say this as someone who always loved her stuff, but she is now writing songs that are as subtle and well-realized as it gets. in the pantheon imo

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 22:49 (one year ago) link


like, just listen to this:

I take it for granted
If I could love you unconditionally
I could iron out the edges of the darkest sky
For some of us it ain't enough
It ain't enough
And I take off driving
Past places been tainted
I put on a good show for you
And when I turn back around
Will you drain me back out
Will you let me believe that I broke through?

alfred, which poet was it who said that the best poems feel like a memory? like you're seeing, reflected back to you, and crystalized, the best of what you've ever thought? something you'd forgotten

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 22:52 (one year ago) link

whoever that was, i think they were otm and i think these songs have it. nothing feels forced or false and nothing seems simple either.

treeship., Monday, 7 September 2020 22:53 (one year ago) link

Thread revive inspired me to listen to Ivy Tripp again - still her best imo.

mise róna (seandalai), Monday, 7 September 2020 23:34 (one year ago) link

what about the blinding greatness of "Singer's No Star" though?

Mostly all the time will go to you
Coming up for air for all the people who
recognize the sadness in a stranger with less to lose

We get comfortable with our detachment to our oldest friends
And you got me here where I'm left alone
I'm not the only thing you ever left

If I were to spoil a victory
or accept all of your trust and praise in spite of me
Will you recognize the failure in my voice before I leave?

We sit on a crowded ship
It's not the ending that's the tragic part
If you'd get off my shoulders and sit beside me we would both be fine

assert (MatthewK), Tuesday, 8 September 2020 03:39 (one year ago) link

Lovely song and masterful lyrics, I agree.

Btw—on the cover of Ivy Tripp is she standing in a field of poison ivy?

treeship., Tuesday, 8 September 2020 12:00 (one year ago) link

seven months pass...

and the lilacs drink the water
and the lilacs die
and the lilacs drink the water
marking the slow
slow passing of time

fucking hell

assert (MatthewK), Friday, 7 May 2021 06:53 (five months ago) link

I've really never listened to this band, but every time I came across a song, either in the wild or on shuffle or on some playlist, I've thought it was lovely. So tonight I played them for the first time (on shuffle) and boy, it's all so great. But it went through this particularly captivating streak of songs, first a cover of "Country Roads" (lovely), then Big Star's "Thirteen" (always lovely), then their own "Fire" (incredible) and then "Streets of Philadelphia," which killed me dead.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 20 May 2021 00:15 (five months ago) link

she is an exceptionally good songwriter. "fire" is unbelievable.

treeship., Thursday, 20 May 2021 01:04 (five months ago) link

fuck me American Weekend is nine years old already

Joe Bombin (milo z), Thursday, 20 May 2021 06:00 (five months ago) link

four months pass...

i love saint cloud, it’s fucking good as hell

STOCK FIST-PUMPER BRAD (BradNelson), Thursday, 14 October 2021 04:03 (one week ago) link

I was just lukewarm on Waxahatchee all these years and lost track of her output a while ago, but was convinced to check out St. Cloud when it started showing up on various EOY lists. Easily one of my favorite albums of the last 2-3 years.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Thursday, 14 October 2021 16:19 (one week ago) link

Saint Cloud is great, but I think American Weekend is still unsurmountable masterpiece.

braised cod, Thursday, 14 October 2021 17:07 (one week ago) link

exactly same, pgwp

sean gramophone, Thursday, 14 October 2021 17:30 (one week ago) link

i'd probably need to give em all a listen again but I think Out of the Storm is my favourite, though about half the tracks on Cerulean Salt are downright friggin amazing

I really like Saint Cloud but it sort of fell off my listening rotation. Fire is amazing, but -- and this is more of a personal preference than a genuine criticism -- I find I cant relate to the warm vibe of it that much? maybe i just need to brighten up, but the angst and tension in her previous records are what really grab me.

josh az (2011nostalgia), Friday, 15 October 2021 01:25 (one week ago) link

also, katie is one of the few artists whose autograph I have and I take pride in that. (an autographed copy of ivy tripp from 2015, specifically). but ah, asking an artist for an autograph is such an awkward experience.

josh az (2011nostalgia), Friday, 15 October 2021 01:26 (one week ago) link

I thought she was hella boring for years. Then Saint Cloud impressed me. At Pitchfork she made me hear how many of those songs are variations on "Sweet Jane" chords to my ears.

So who you gonna call? The martini police (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 15 October 2021 01:28 (one week ago) link

I fiercely love every one of her albums. St Cloud is the least melancholy. There is hard won hope in it.

treeship., Friday, 15 October 2021 01:31 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.