Album review: Waxahatchee, “Out in the Storm”

by Jon E. Lynch

Waxahatchee, “Out in the Storm”

Available: Friday July 14, via Merge Record as a compact disc and on vinyl as a standard black LP. Also available in a couple of limited-edition vinyl bundles directly from the label, the most comprehensive being a deluxe double LP version containing the album on black vinyl, an exclusive bonus LP of demo versions of the entire album on Cloud White vinyl, a 12- by 24-inch poster of Katie Crutchfield, packaged in a gatefold jacket with full lyrics and silver foil details. Also included is a full download of the album and demo versions.

Waxahatchee is the recording moniker of Philadelphia-by-way-of-Alabama singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist Katie Crutchfield. “Out in the Storm” is the fourth proper full-length from Waxahatchee and the second on the North Carolina-based indie heavyweight Merge Records (Wye Oak, Superchunk, Mikal Cronin, Ex-Hex, The Mountain Goats, Coco Hames, Spoon, and Lambchop to name a very few).

In this most recent set of songs, there is a confident swagger and a strong sense of identity that was less obvious in previous releases. On other records, there was a quaintness or even timid approach to the band. A bridled, constrained reserve that has long since dissolved into full-on self-awareness of just how badass these songs, and the musicians playing them, truly are. Katie Crutchfield is joined by twin sister Allison on keyboards and percussion, Katherine Simonetti on bass, and Ashley Arnwine on drums; Katie Harkin, touring guitarist with Sleater-Kinney, also contributed lead guitar parts. Also contributing to the overall tone and feel of the record is producer, recording engineer, and mixer John Agnello, who has recently worked with acts such as Sonic Youth, Dinosaur Jr., The Kills, Kurt Vile, Patti Smith and countless others.

Recommended for fans of Angel Olsen, Big Thief, Frankie Cosmos, Speedy Ortiz, or Courtney Barnett

— Jon E. Lynch[email protected]


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