Infinity Crush Credit: courtesy of Terrorbird

North Carolina singer-songwriter Caroline White records gentle guitar folk under the name Infinity Crush. She’s cited poets Li-Young Lee and Dorianne Laux as inspirations, and given those cues, you could be forgiven for thinking that she’d be singing nothing but elevated songs about nature and love. To be fair, she does do plenty of that; in “Through the Ashes” she compares herself to a bird and to the sun, and uses imagery of falling snow. But beneath the demure Vashti Bunyan twee there throbs an unexpected Liz Phair horniness. The opening track on her 2019 Virtual Heaven (Joy Void), “Misbehaving,” starts with ethereal meditation before spiraling quickly into lust. “Spin me ’round forever baby / Endless summer, misbehaving / I wanna be good but you make me crazy / Touching my thigh in the back seat baby.” On “Lunar Pull” she uses the inevitable force of gravitation to describe not True Love Forever but a repeated hookup. The catchy, up-tempo “Drive Thru” could almost pass for a Taylor Swift song, if Taylor Swift’s empowerment anthems included explicit descriptions of girl on top. The juxtaposition of flowery poetic conceits and frank concupiscence wasn’t new even when James Joyce or Prince did it, but White’s sweetly earthy odes to desire manage to feel unexpected, smart, funny, and exhilarating. She’s quietly created one of the year’s sexiest albums—and, not coincidentally, one of its best.   v