Tag Archives: Katie Crutchfield

Waxahatchee: The Journeywoman Becomes The Master


Photo by Jesse Riggins.

Before we arrive at the West Philadelphia home of Katie Crutchfield, aka Waxahatchee, her twin sister and musician Allison Crutchfield (who is driving me), takes a detour down a tree-lined street three minutes from Katie’s rowhouse. She points to a modest, time-worn Victorian—the twins’ one-time residence which doubled as a recording space for Waxahatchee, Swearin’ (Allison’s former band), and other music projects. “All of those albums were made right there,” she says proudly, letting the memories hover.

Once we settle in, Katie and I sit across from each other on a couch in the front room: a small, cozy space flanked by bookshelves and guitars (including the acoustic she strummed as a kid). No matter which direction you look, you’ll spot something eye-catching: a gallery’s worth of paintings and cross-stitches on the walls, nearly all of which depict dogs; Beatles posters on all the doors (John Lennon watches over the main entrance, while George Harrison guards the artist’s room); a keyboard over in the corner, just in case an idea pops up.

Just like Waxahatchee’s music, Katie’s décor tells a story: a nebulous, intense, and unabashedly intimate narrative, which taps into her personal past as a means of expressing the present, or even the future. Her heart-wrenching breakup songs represent moments suspended in time, close to the heart, but kept at arm’s length. Given the tortured, quaking voice through which she conjures her old pain onstage, it’s no surprise that some fans and critics remain oblivious to this conceit. Importantly, it establishes distance between the woman named Katie Crutchfield and the artist known as Waxahatchee.

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