Behind the soft, crackling vocals of Waxahatchee singer/songwriter Katie Crutchfield, you can almost feel her fervently scribbling lyrics down between each pluck of her guitar strings. “I left like I got my way/But truly I left with nothing at all,” she sings on “Hollow Bedroom,” the opening track to 2013’s Cerulean Salt. Here, Crutchfield’s soft-spoken words appear vulnerable from the start, but her lyrics are actually cloaked in ambiguity, only to be defined by her listener’s varying perspectives.
Still in her early 20s, Crutchfield started out playing in the Birmingham, Alabama, punk scene with her twin sister, but on Waxahatchee, Crutchfield embraces the lo-fi despair of punk, embedded in the album’s rises and falls. There’s a slight nod to PJ Harvey throughout, while songs like “Dixie Cups and Jars” recall Bright Eyes’ “Falling Out of Love at this Volume,” giving way to Crutchfield’s unwavering indie flag. Even more so, Crutchfield is a welcome addition to contemporaries like Mirah and Cat Power.
Cerulean Salt may take multiple listens, and even more emotional states, to decipher, but its minimal layers are bound to bring Crutchfield’s shyly effervescent vocals and broken-hearted demeanor front and center when Waxahatchee plays Eagle Aerie Hall on Saturday.
Waxahatchee with Dogbreth, Mercy Music, The Voice Unheard, Ossum Possum and Alexander The Terrible April 19, 5 p.m., $11-$13. Eagle Aerie Hall, 310 W. Pacific Ave., 565-2672.