Last night, in front of a packed house at Lee’s Palace, I watched Waxahatchee play a flawless set that had me enthralled until everyone flooded the exit following three excellent encores. The performance was truly mesmerizing – even more so because of the impressive sets played by the two openers for the evening, Outer Spaces and Palehound – with Katie Crutchfield’s ethereally beautiful voice on full display. I felt compelled to write something about this Alabama band, if only to share my wonderful experience.
Waxahatchee began as a solo project for Katie Crutchfield while she was still in her former band P.S Eliot, which she formed with her twin sister Alison.
In 2012, she wrote and recorded the entirety of her Waxahatchee debut within the confines of her bedroom in her family home in Birmingham, Alabama (the band actually derives its name from the nearby Waxahatchee Creek). The result, titled American Weekend, was an achingly intimate portrayal of love lost and the devastation that accompanies close relationships.
American Weekend received many accolades upon its release, and Waxahatchee have since gone on to record three more albums, each one expanding on the intimacy of the first. Their latest, Out in the Storm, which came out earlier this year, is sure to top a number of lists by December, and finds the band more expansive and explosive than ever. Top to bottom, this a great album that displays what is so great about Waxahatchee: catchy, guitar-driven hooks, thoughtful and intimate lyrics, and Katie Crutchfield’s singularly amazing voice.
I find myself returning to Waxahatchee over and over again with each new release, as every album is eminently re-listenable, and seems to reveal hidden meaning and depth with each visit. Their show at Lee’s last night was a testament to how great they really are, and above all, was all kinds of fun. If you have the chance, I would suggest checking them out.