‘Ivy Tripp’ is a perfect continuation from its precursor, ‘Cerulean Salt’. The sound is a little tighter and the overall aesthetic is cleaner – especially when compared to Waxahatchee’s lo-fi debut. But one thing remains: the songs are impeccably written. Opening the band’s third release is ‘Breathless’. A rich, distorted organ synth and stunningly honest vocals slowly builds suspense before dropping seamlessly into two back-to-back all guns blazing instant Waxahatchee hits in ‘Under a Rock’ and ‘Poison’.
We begin to hear a hint of early 2000-esque parallels with an addition to the band – a drum machine, on ‘La Loose’. A gentle kick-kick-snare gently sways as the backing vocals swoon and coo in the background. The mood stays low for ‘Stale By Noon’ – the choice here to keep it stripped back; fighting all temptation to fill it out helping to keep all focus on the lyrics – almost “Sound Of Silver’ inspired.
Taken back up to full speed and transported to a dive bar somewhere between NY and LA on ‘The Dirt’ – shouting drink orders over a band, with a name you swear you’ll remember, unleashing track after track to an adoring crowd. The theme of the album is becoming clear by this point, coming to a head once with ‘Less Than’. “You’re less than me, I am nothing.” Poignant lyrics highlighting the trials of being a directionless 20-something, with the jagged delayed drums toward the end being a beautiful touch used to accentuate that dazed and confused feeling. ‘Half moon’ shifts the mood to about 4am. Everyone has gone home and K. Crutchfield is left pondering and recording piano – further showing that the overall ethos for this collection of songs is that less really is more. Leading to an absolute triumph of a record. Incredible songs, performed with honesty and passion.
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