New Song: Waxahatchee, ‘Coast to Coast’

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Waxahatchee releases the second single from upcoming album “Cerulean Salt,” “Coast To Coast.”

It’s fitting that Katie Crutchfield, aka Waxahatchee, would find her biggest success after a breakup. We’re talking about the 2011 dissolution of her old band P.S. Eliot, the small, but intensely loved cult punk band she fronted with her twin sister. In the time since then, the Birmingham DIY emblem has released a series of well-received songs online and an album called American Weekend. This track, “Coast to Coast,” is the second off her forthcoming follow-up, Cerulean Salt, out March 15 on Don Giovanni.

Listen to Waxahatchee’s “Coast to Coast” after the jump.

“Coast to Coast,” like “Peace and Quiet” before it, expands upon Crutchfield’s stripped-down bedroom confessional format, with a fuller band sound, but it’s by no means the type of overly produced jump we’ve seen from other like-minded fuzz to buzz bands. (It’s also the title of an Elliott Smith song, to whom Crutchfield’s intimate, acoustic songs are often likened.) Instead it’s the type of lo-fi punk indie crunch of restrained sonics that hearken back to the heart of the ’90s female-fronted college rock explosion. Crutchfield sings of “embracing the lows,” “cursing our stage fright,” and “indulging every reckless whim,” over a rudimentary beat and sweetly harmonized ooohing and ahhing.

It sounds less romantically brokenhearted than her previous material, instead imbued with a different type of sadness, the realization that this is what growing up feels like. As Crutchfield said in an interview with Pitchfork about the album, “A lot of it is about realizing that your childhood is over, that your innocence is gone. When you’re a kid, you’re always happy, and everything’s good. And then you realize, ‘That’s never gonna be how I am again.’ The first record was about relationships. This one isn’t as much. It’s not sad as much as it is these weird existential realizations, like, ‘This is life, nothing matters.’”

Sounds like kind of a bummer. The good news for Waxahatchee fans, however, is that that sort of thinking is just the first of many steps on the journey to realizing that everything is sad. As long as it results in more music like this, that’s fine with us.

+ Listen to Waxahatchee’s “Coast To Coast.”

Photo credit: Ryan Russell