Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp

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Waxahatchee – Ivy Tripp

I’ve been waffling on what to say about this album.  I finally got a full review hacked out yesterday, but I’m ditching it.  It’s stilted, awkward, and reads like a “music review”, the kind you find in people’s zines or on some kid’s blog.  So here we go, we’re just going to wing it today instead.

The things I like about Ivy Tripp are hard to articulate.  They’re more sense impressions than anything else.  When I listen to it I feel like I’m standing in a copse of trees, staring out into the line of trunks, smelling the acrid scent of burning wood, and wondering what the hell to do next.  The leaves under my feet are dry, and give a satisfying crunch when I walk on them.  The air is cold and smells like autumn dying, like winter trashing around in the womb, getting ready to be born.  The fire nearby is crackling, throwing off heat in an all-too-small radius.  Inside this circle of trees and the smaller circle of fire-warmth I’m safe.  Outside, the world blurs by in increasingly unrecognizable ways.  Outside there are no careers, just an endless parade of jobs and contracts.  There are no houses, because they’ve been neatly priced out of our reach.  There is no direction to go in, because all directions are equally shiftless.  Outside is a desert stretching in all directions, and the footsteps that lead away fade out after a time into nothing.

Inside, though, there is light, and warmth, for now.  There is sadness, more of a heaviness than a bleakness, and there is uncertainty, but there is also beauty, and sweet wistful longing.

Actually, there might be a bit too much sadness.  I fell for Katie Crutchfield on Cerulean Salt, mainly because of a shared adoration of crunchy, lo-fi 90s indie rock – your Pavement, your GBV, your Built To Spill.  Ivy Tripp shows off a love of another peculiarly 90s kind of rock – the slowcore sounds of Low, Codeine, and Slowdive.  This is admirable as well, but it makes the album drag out just a bit too long.

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