Bree’s Melancholic Tales: An Analysis of “Brother Bryan” by Waxahatchee
Named after the Waxahatchee Creek in Alabama, indie band Waxahatchee was founded in 2010 by lead singer and guitarist Katie Crutchfield. Her 2012 breakout album, American Weekend, was recorded in only a week at her family home in Birmingham, Alabama.

Crutchfield is adept at tugging on the heartstrings of her listeners by utilizing casual, yet exquisite language and imagery in her lyrics, allowing listeners to easily connect to what she sings. Much of this raw tone is used throughout American Weekend, but I think with the proper recording studio, it is honed in her second album, Cerulean Salt (2013). This album features a song that I think best embodies the raw, casual, and exquisite (and of course melancholic) language and imagery of Waxahatchee, and that song is “Brother Bryan.”

“Brother Bryan”

[Verse 1]

“I said to you on the night that we met, ‘I am not well’”

We are first introduced to two people in this song — a vulnerable narrator and a person in which the narrator is speaking to. The fact that the narrator openly admits that they are “not well” to a person they have just met says a lot about what the narrator could be dealing with. The first thing that comes to mind for me was depression. People afflicted with this illness handle it in different ways when it comes to the public — some may keep it a secret to try and fit in with what is “normal,” and others may feel so lost and hopeless that it’s their last attempt to reach out to someone for help. I think the narrator in this song embodies the latter.

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