What does it sound like?:
The most frequently heard words on this album are ‘I’ and ‘You’ followed by ‘We’. Out In The Storm is a relationship/breakup/staying together/oh god what do I really want? album that’s lyrically straight out of singer-songwriter central. If you’re not up for some Me Time then this is not for you. The album opens with a confident blast of power guitar and the words ‘Everyone will hear me complain/Everyone will feel my pain’ . It ends in a downbeat acoustic number in which she fears she is fading away. In between we hear a lot about whether she should drive to Brooklyn, go to Berlin or just stay in bed.
It feels very twenty-something. There’s nothing about mortgages, children or jobs – just the emotional manipulations, arguments, drunken nights and regrets of a decaying relationship. It’s about the fighting that takes place in words, intentions and misunderstandings.
Lyrically the album never lets up from this theme. Musically it has a number of modes: the confident fuzzy power-pop that characterises the opener and standout track Hear You where she locates a killer chorus that several other songs could benefit from. Then there’s the slower more acoustically-driven songs, that culminates in the bleak but hopeful closer Fade. Organ-toned keyboards are present on most tracks and add some textures that make her work more interesting than a lot of similar acts.
I like this album a lot, but feel it doesn’t have quite the stand-out freshness of her previous effort Ivy Tripp, which really is an excellent album. Perhaps the bleak subject matter can’t help but make it feel a bit downbeat and claustrophobic overall. And – there’s no getting around it, the rhythm section are a bit leaden. I’d sure like to hear her backed by a drummer and bassist with a bit more suppleness.
What does it all *mean*?
To those new to Waxahatchee Ivy Tripp might be a better starting point. To those already in this is a solid new album, and where she might go next should be really exciting.
Goes well with…
Might suit people who like…
Throwing Muses, Kristin Hersh, Tanya Donnelly, sibiling Alison Crutchfield, Mitski, and leftfield – some of her stuff really does sound like a slowed-down Sugar.