Waxahatchee - Ivy Tripp
Perseverance? Well, sometimes it pays off. Katie Crutchfield has been in this game for the best part of a decade, but it was the release of Cerulean Salt in 2013 under the guise of Waxahatchee that finally secured her some decent column inches - and even a few slots in best-of-the-year round-ups. That album expanded her bedroom-based, DIY indie to a full band format, a switch that paid dividends especially in the UK where she'd been picked up by Wichita. Ivy Tripp is notably another step forward, expanding her folk-tinged material to also include more pop and US indie flavours.
Crutchfield explained she was inspired by the "directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today", not a million miles from what Courtney Barnett has been doing. Here, things work best when she lifts her head and tries her hand at upbeat: 'The Dirt', 'Under A Rock' and 'Poison' recall the chirpiness of Tanya Donnelly, and while the arrangements remain fairly basic, the piano on 'Grey Hair' offers some welcome colour. The echoes of earlier work - the spare 'Half Moon', the lo-fi strum of 'Summer Of Love' - may be slightly more anonymous against a backdrop of so many other artists exploring similar milieu, but give Ivy Tripp the time and its roots will find purchase. The more she steps out into the light, the more Crutchfield blooms.