Sometimes a singer’s vocals are so stunning and full of emotion, that they can do anything and still grab your ears. Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee has always had such a voice, but it’s most represented with her latest release Great Thunder. The six song EP is the opposite of last year’s rock sounding Out in the Storm, yet it’s still so engaging and wondrous that you can’t help but love it.
Opening with the piano driven sounds of “Singer’s No Star,” Crutchfield keeps things light while her emotionally charged vocals do all of the leg work. There’s a heaviness to her vocals while she stretches out at points, sounding like she’s painfully getting out the notes. This sense of urgency while delivering heartfelt vocals continues throughout the rest of the release, and the return to her folky past comes through on “Chapel of Pines” in the best way possible. Sounding vulnerable at times, it reminds you of how stunning Crutchfield’s vocals are without them getting muddled together in a rock induced and pop hooked sound.
The upbeat tempo of “Slow You Down” is lush and gorgeous with doubled vocals that add more depth than that of the typical singer songwriter. Crutchfield isn’t getting any hook heavy on the EP than she is here, and the stripped back sound is exactly what a voice as tender as hers can drive when given the chance. The closer “Takes So Much” displays that even if Waxahatchee dropped a release with just Crutchfield’s voice, most people would love it all the same. So vulnerable, it makes any fan of Waxahatchee dig in much deeper. This minimal sound works, and just proves that Waxahatchee can do pretty much whatever Crutchfield wants.
You can stream Great Thunder as well as the rest of Waxahatchee’s catalog wherever you stream music. You can purchase the EP in multiple formats, including two different vinyl options directly from Merge Records. Waxahatchee will be on tour with Courtney Barnett starting on September 29 in Denver at Ogden Theatre and ending October 27 at Stubb’s in Austin. Her entire tour schedule can be found here.
Image Credits: Photo by Molly Matalon.