After 4 critically acclaimed albums, each inching closer to a fuller, more actualized sense of self and sound, it is safe to call Katie Crutchfield, known better mononymously as Waxahatchee, a modern indie rock veteran. Coming on the heels of her critically acclaimed 2017 album, “Out in the Storm,” however, Crutchfield is taking a step back into her folk roots with a new EP, “Great Thunder,” coming out September 7 via Merge Records.
Announced via a post on the artist’s personal Instagram, the “Great Thunder” EP takes its name from a band Crutchfield was a part of in between two of her most seminal releases, 2013’s “Cerulean Salt” and 2015’s “Ivy Tripp.” All of the songs on the new EP are songs Crutchfield had written with Great Thunder, reworked from their more experimental origins into humble country-folk ballads with the help of her producer, Bradley Cook.
i’m so excited to announce my new EP “great thunder” on @mergerecords ! it’s songs from a band i had a few years back called great thunder that i reimagined & re-recorded with the wonderful @bradleywcook 🌾🌿 today we’re sharing “chapel of pines” which is a very special song to me, been one of my favorites i’ve ever written for a long time. there’s a video too! directed by the amazing @goodboychristopher & starring myself & @kevinmorby 💒🌿 & of course the incredible covershot by the one & only @mollymatalon ! big day over here. really glad to share all of this & hope you dig it. link for pre-order & video in bio.
Accompanying the EP announcement, Waxahatchee also shared a music video for the song, “Chapel of Pines.” A quiet, but emotive tune made of sparse strumming and light piano notes plunking behind her distinctive country cadence, Crutchfield wanders around the tough questions; “If you build yourself up tall you can tell me what the future holds / Will you settle where you stand or keep it to yourself?” The video also features her frequent tourmate and current romantic partner Kevin Morby in a picturesque scene of American Appalachia that soon turns ritualistic, and almost surreal.
Though starting out in punk bands in her home state of Alabama with her twin sister Allison, Crutchfield’s solo albums grew from twangy, sparse, and dejected folk tunes to boisterous, country-inflected indie rock anthems with her fists raised in the air. Crutchfield has always been willing to share her songwriting skills with new musical partners, most recently on the new Superchunk track “Erasure,” but “Great Thunder” will surely let listeners back into an intimately vulnerable version of Crutchfield that makes all her releases so singular.