Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know what it means to say someone has been living under a rock. The title phrase never quite appears on the second track from Waxahatchee‘s April 7 album for Merge Records, Ivy Tripp, but mastermind Katie Crutchfield’s lyrical target here is someone whose isolation is mental and emotional, if not physical. She gets upset and tells this person she knows how to get inside “the brick house that you built around your cranium,” which “you wear … like a crown.”
This interpersonal tension has a gut-rattling complement in the ’90s-recalling indie-rock muscle of her band, which includes co-producers Kyle Gilbride and Keith Spencer (also of Swearin’). As tuneful and economical as it is expressively ragged, “Under a Rock” is over in about two minutes, with hardly a chorus but plenty of hooks. As for “your ravenous, insatiable appetite for the expendable,” Crutchfield warns it’ll leave you “hollow,” and “you’ll bang it like a drum.” She has compared her new album to a gas after the solid of 2013′s Cerulean Salt, but this one’s a rock you could live under for a while.