Swearin’s Allison Crutchfield returns with a solo debut full-length in tow. “Tourist in This Town” re-introduces Crutchfield with a more complete realisation of her skill in songwriting, arranging and instrumentation. Bringing synths into the mix, the album was recorded with Jeff Zeigler and shows off its sheen through the anthemic lead single “Dean’s Room”. The CD is a 4-panel digipak and the LP includes a download code.
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Once of '90s style grunge poppers Swearin' and also sister of Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield (talented family obvs), Alison has gone down the shiny pop route on this album on the increasingly diverse Merge. What e(merge)s (sorry) initially seems like a kind of grungier take of the twang voiced pop chart country types (I'm sorta thinking Kasey Musgraves here) but also I hear shards of Alanis Morrisette and Shania Twain in her voice.
The songs though have a much more lo-fi vibe though with some dirty production keeping the whole thing from being too slick. It's a mixture of sunny Best Coast style singalongs ('I Don't Ever Wanna Leave California') and the insanely catchy 'Dean's Room' which marries distorted drums with Springsteen circa 'Tunnel of Love' synths all of which would horrify if it wasn't so damn ear snagging, 50's style Spector-a-thons like 'Sightseeing' which is the second song this year to remind me of seemingly lost Portland lot the Long Winters and the odd slower synthy churn. All of which is enlivened by Crutchfield's enthusiastic vocal delivery.
I don't know if it was Crutchfield southern-twang voice but I really hated this record on first listen. I'm glad though that I gave it another go as once I've fully immersed myself in her world I've totally enjoyed myself. Now there's a thing.
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