Katie Crutchfield brings intimate music to Che Cafe with side project

by Ryo Miyauchi

In January of 2012, musician Katie Crutchfield released her solo project Waxahatchee after disbanding her band P.S. Eliot. At the time, Waxahatchee’s songs consisted of intimate home recordings of Crutchfield singing and playing acoustic guitar alone into a tape. Crutchfield has put another band together since then and released an incredible studio album, “Cerulean Salt,” but has not lost her personal touch in songwriting. The musician is performing with her band to play songs both old and new on Dec. 7 at the Che Cafe.

The home recordings that sparked the attention for Waxahatchee are found on the album “American Weekend.” The recordings are rough, but the low quality only adds to the intimate feel of her songs, which already read like pages out of her personal journals. Crutchfield eventually expanded her project into a full band, “Cerulean Salt.” The result is a stronger rock sound with a cleaner finish. The production shift puts fans in a split between the two albums, but both records are excellent in their own ways.

No matter how the sounds change in Waxahatchee, Crutchfield’s lyrics and stories play the most powerful part in the music. In “Cerulean Salt,” the clean production makes her lyrics feel even sharper as she fits tangled syllables into a poetic form. The stories inside “Cerulean Salt” cover much about the waning days of childhood and innocence. Delicate emotions come alive from Crutchfield’s specific details, such as when she drunkenly flirts in “Lips and Limbs” or when she escapes from issues in “Coast to Coast.”

For P.S. Eliot followers, the Che Cafe show should be a treat, as the band Swearin’ also takes stage in support of Waxahatchee. Swearin’ includes Allison Crutchfield, former member of P.S. Eliot and Katie Crutchfield’s twin sister. The band also released a solid album this year titled “Surfing Strange,” a recommended listen for Waxahatchee fans or anyone interested in rock music with a cheerful spirit.

Wrapping up a great year, Crutchfield and her band Waxahatchee are currently touring to promote “Cerulean Salt.” Listen to one of the years best records and catch the band live this Saturday.

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