Crush Crusher is a venture in self-exploration, with Jilian Medford — and a newly formed back band — sharing a bold and beautiful record inspired by periods of growth, heartbreak, and discovery. It’s apparent from the album’s outset that Medford intends to present these gorgeously fragmented memories and pieces of her heart, and it all begins with “Hiding,” an illuminating and blossoming single that repeats a mantra of reckoning: “I forgot myself in you.” Set against a backdrop of wrathful instrumentals that submerge you wholly into the journey ahead, you immediately realize how tenderhearted, but urgent Crush Crusher is intended to be.
Much like the previously released Shapeshifter, this latest IAN SWEET album again has Medford publicly grappling with personal struggle. And whether you nearly lose yourself to the breakneck pacing and airy vocals of “Spit,” or you find yourself floating alongside the thick guitar and Medford’s heartbreakingly honest confessions (“I never believed in death until I met you”) on “Bug Museum,” you can’t help but feel as if you’ve stumbled upon someone’s greatest secrets, and unlike that time I purposefully sought out my sister’s diary, these discoveries are yours to get lost in, and glean meaning from.
It’s hard not to feel as if you’re trapped in the very stitching of Medford’s heart, especially on tracks like “Ugly/Bored,” when she softly recalls: “I forgot, did I ever ask what you thought/About the day we fucked in the parking lot?/You have one chance to make me believe/That everything I know is just from a dream.” And what’s continually most striking is Medford’s willingness to unravel; to explore these deepest parts and present them to you whole. It’s often so much easier to just pretend that you have it all figured out and to keep your feelings hidden behind filters and a busy schedule, but Crush Crusher is this stirring reminder that everyone is going through something; we’re all just trying to find the answers, and in turn, we’re trying to discover who we truly are, too.