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WAXAHATCHEE

Featuring a collection of songs written with now-dormant experimental recording group Great Thunder while Crutchfield was also writing the Waxahatchee albums Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp, the original recordings have mostly faded into obscurity. Unearthing and reimagining them with producer Brad Cook at Justin Vernon’s April Base studio in Wisconsin was a cathartic experience, she says. On the heels of last year’s critically acclaimed Out in the Storm, Crutchfield found herself looking to take a sharp turn away from the more rock-oriented influences of her recent records towards her more folk and country roots.

“I would say that it is a complete 180 from the last record: super stripped-down, quiet, and with me performing solo, it’s a throwback to how I started,” writes Crutchfield. “Overall, the EP is a warm, kind of vibey recording.” Some of the songs on Great Thunder, like “Chapel of Pines” and “Singer’s No Star,” stayed the same and will be recognizable to those intensely familiar with Crutchfield’s catalog to date, while closer “Takes So Much” was built back up on piano from the bones of the original version, surprising even the songwriter: “Until then, I didn’t realize how beautiful this song was.” As Crutchfield entered April Base to record, she became ill but opted to forge on, beautifully stretching her voice to its emotional limits. 

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: A much more stripped back affair from Waxahatchee, reduced to the constituent parts of Crutchfield's sound, and brought to the masses with the perspective of the previous few releases. A beautiful insight into the formative sound of one of our favourite artists.

Waxahatchee

Live At Third Man Records

    Waxahatchee is the solo project of Katie Crutchfield, an Alabama songwriter long steeped in the Rutgers/Philadelphia scenes with releases on Don Giovanni and Merge Records. Crutchfield has carved out a distinct name for herself as a devastating and whip-smart writer and performer.

    The B-side is her original “La Loose”, showcasing her soaring crystal vocal chops a la Anne Briggs, and the A-side is a powerfully stark cover of Lucinda Williams’ “Greenville” that has been a staple of her live set for years.

    Waxahatchee

    Out In The Storm

      Out in the Storm is the blazing result of a woman reawakened. Her most autobiographical and honest album to date, Out in the Storm is a self-reflective anchor in the story of both Katie Crutchfield’s songwriting and her life. The album tells the story of taking control of a volatile situation, embracing flaws, and exploring a new sonic freedom. The album was tracked at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia with John Agnello, known for working with some of the most iconic musicians of the last 25 years, including Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth.

      For Agnello, it was Crutchfield’s voice that drew him in. “The first demo song I heard was ‘Fade’. The melodies, the way she sings it, the way she turns the melody, and the way she goes note to note is literally beautiful. Singers—you either have it or you don’t. She has it.” Agnello and Crutchfield worked together for most of December 2016, along with the band: sister Allison Crutchfield on keyboards and percussion, Katherine Simonetti on bass, and Ashley Arnwine on drums; Katie Harkin, touring guitarist with Sleater-Kinney, also contributed lead guitar. At Agnello’s suggestion, the group recorded most of the music live to enhance their unity in a way that gives the album a fuller sound compared to past releases, resulting in one of Waxahatchee’s most guitar-driven releases to date. “My experience working with John was genuinely life-changing,” says Crutchfield. “We had such a great connection right off the bat, and I really feel like he was always looking out for me.

      He pushed me when I needed it, and gave me space when I needed it.” Crutchfield’s voice oscillates between effortless grace and commanding righteousness, taking the listener with her on an explicitly personal journey. Songs like “Hear You” and “No Question” are lyrically unapologetic and musically resolute, while the softer acoustic songs like “A Little More” and “Fade” let fear and melancholy seep through. But it is on the atmospheric “Sparks Fly” where we feel an essential redemption. “Sparks Fly” acts as an inner dialogue and marks the first time since the inception of Waxahatchee that any semblance of self-love has shone through. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: Standard LP is black vinyl in uncoated jacket w/ foil stamp & black dustsleeve + poster + DL.

      ‘American Weekend’ is the debut album from Waxahatchee, originally released last year on Don Giovanni in the US.

      This album is more stripped down and lo-fi than its now highlyacclaimed follow up, ‘Cerulean Salt’, recorded over 8 days by Katie Crutchfield while snowed in at her childhood home in Alabama.

      This album may be sparser in sound than ‘Cerulean Salt’ but the songs are just as powerfully affecting, mediating on the highs and lows of 20-something life with a rawness that recalls the likes of Girly-Sound-era Liz Phair, Elliott Smith and PJ Harvey.

      “Katie Crutchfield has a way of delivering a line so casually that it takes a half-dozen listens to fully realise how devastating it is… the work of a songwriter skilled enough to make introspection seem not self-centered, but generous” - Pitchfork

      “The nakedness of Crutchfield’s music is the source of both its confidence and its vulnerability” - Spin

      “Rightly one of the most talked about artists at SXSW, for a tough but tender take on the singer-songwriter” - NME

      “With a voice and a talent for songwriting like hers, Katie has the potential to become a genuine great” - DIY Magazine

      ‘Cerulean Salt’ was released in March in the US via venerable punk label Don Giovanni to critical acclaim, and now gets a full release for the rest of the world through Wichita Recordings.

      The strength of ‘Cerulean Salt’ lies in the simplicity and purity of its songs, with melodies that immediately penetrate, alongside Katie Crutchfield’s frank vocal delivering devastating, straight-from-theheart lyrics backed with lacerating guitars and slouchy basslines.

      Sounding like an instant classic from the get go, the album’s songwriting recalls the rawness of early Cat Power, the introspective lyrics of Rilo Kiley and the indie fuzz of The Breeders.

      “Katie Crutchfield has a way of delivering a line so casually that it takes a half-dozen listens to fully realise how devastating it is… the work of a songwriter skilled enough to make introspection seem not self-centered, but generous” - Pitchfork

      “The nakedness of Crutchfield’s music is the source of both its confidence and its vulnerability” - Spin

      “Rightly one of the most talked about artists at SXSW, for a tough but tender take on the singer-songwriter” - NME

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Laura says: Wow I'm transported straight back to the early 90s listening to this - In a good way that is! Echoes of The Breeders guitar and brooding basslines, Tanya Donelly's clever, insightful lyrics and the hooky pop of Veruca Salt (or if you want more contemporary reference points maybe Best Coast and Cat Power). The songs sway between simple, stripped back acoustic numbers and power-poppy catchyness, but it's the songwriting that really sets this apart: frank, heartfelt songs delivered brilliantly by Katie's simultaneously powerful and fragile vocals. Lining up to be one of my albums of the year I reckon.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      LP Info: 1 copy only. The LP format is pressed on 180g blue vinyl and includes a copy of ‘Cerulean Salt’ on CD. (The sticker on the front says 'Blue Sparkly' but I think they forgot to add the sparkles!)


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