OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I bet you heard some on some indie radio stations.
LINEUP: Katie Crutchfield, Keith Spencer, Kyle Gilbride
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Katie Crutchfield leaps forward, taking her songs into almost a full-rock band sound, without sacrificing quality nor vulnerability.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Moving to Merge Records and recording over a period of time in Long Island with her two collaborators (who are also in her sister’s band), Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee project moves toward a full band experience. The hooks are still there, but the sound is definitely a bit more layered. Waxahatchee is more experimental here, adding in sonic elements not found on the simpler recordings.
The subject matter is about a transition between feelings of love and feelings of loss, like most of adulthood. And while the sound is fuller, the songs are just as rich and personal as her lo-fi recordings.
Crutchfield’s progress toward a recording artist working with a full band but when she’s on her own at guitar or piano, she’s as powerful and out front. Still a hidden gem, Crutchfield is asecending slowly and surely.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Ivy Tripp is a term she made up about the directionless folks living today.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE A: This is solidly written, arranged, and produced. What more do you want?
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Maybe a few tracks on NPR
LINEUP: Katie Crutchfield, Keith Spencer, Kyle Gilbride, Alison Crutchfield, Sam Cook-Parrott
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Katie Crutchfield goes from a lo-fi solo artist using the name Waxahatchee to a (for the most part) full band recording, keeping her songwriting chops intact.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Katie Crutchfield’s lo-fi debut got som accolades around the biz, but this, the first full band non-lo-fi recording brings out the Crutchfield’s songs in a way the hazy lo-fi sounds couldn’t.
Here, the hooks in the album come out, and the lyrical focus is sharper since the words aren’t buried in clatter. The songs are still mining the same vein (it’s not a pretty world and these aren’t pretty songs) – and some still are solo works with her guitar.
While the band recordings may take away some of the intensity, this is a good album that’s more accessible without pandering, and allows Crutchfield to get her work out to a more general audience beside the lo-fi fans.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Most of the backing band was from Swearin’, her sister’s band.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Debut solo album was recorded in a bedroom and was noticed by NPR, kick starting a career.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: I’m not against lo-fi, but at times it seems like a big effort to listen to the tracks. Also, I’m not against bedroom recordings, as the intimacy. But again, the fidelity can be a challenge.
Katie Crutchfield’s solo project (as Waxahatchee ), overcomes those challenges by writing some damn fine tunes. The recording has quite a bit of treble, and is mastered pretty hot, but Crutchfield’s songs carry the day.
Just a guitar and a voice can make a powerful statement.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Crutchfield was a leader in the band P.S. Eliot, with her twin sister.