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1 review | 4 people love this record: be the 5th!

Katie Crutchfield returns with a mini album of recordings she started whilst making her previous albums Cerulean Salt and Ivy Tripp. These were more experimental jams recorded with a collective called Great Thunder that is no longer active. Fascinated by the material Crutchfield took it into the studio and reworked it resulting in a stripped down collection closer to her folk and country roots than to her recent more pop/rock material. 

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Great Thunder by Waxahatchee
1 review. Add your own review.
4 people love this record. Be the 5th!
8/10 Robin Staff review, 06 September 2018

For me the still very good Waxahatchee has never bested her first ever record, ‘American Weekend’. It’s almost unfair to make that statement, considering that record was a one-person home recording project and each follow-up has been an exploration and development of a rock band sound. Still, it’s those sparser moments of self-isolation that I go back to, and ‘Great Thunder’ -- a quieter, cozier record of dulcet piano twinklings and acoustic strums -- is willing to take me there.

These songs were written alongside ‘Cerulean Salt’ and ‘Ivy Tripp’, as frontwoman and principal songwriter Katie Crutchfield was taking her sound out of hibernation into a world of flourishes and arrangements and, you know, drums. On this EP, though, they’re reimagined as weekend country pop, recalling sparsity of her old work but marked by a clean, lovely, living room production. It’s maybe the clearest we’ve ever heard Crutchfield -- unlike the washed out vibe of ‘Out In the Storm’, this companion is given a production so clear and unfiltered it feels like the listener is sat next to her taking piano lessons.

Making music this way suits Crutchfield just fine: the piano tunes on this record meander, content to fill the room and provide a little extra warmth to your day. Occasionally they’re given a bit of waking up by strings and backing vocals, but these slow, meditative pieces are happy to live without the punch of a normal Waxahatchee tune. “Slow You Down” i an outlier; an active and melodic race to the finish, it raises the record’s roof with a lovely dynamic lift brought about by keyboards, gleefully shaken percussion and a slick guitar riff. It’s one moment of gold amidst a record of lovely, absent-minded ballads, sketched rather than scored.


Waxahatchee - Chapel of Pines (Official Music Video) - YouTube



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