words: Sarah Hojsak
News recently broke of Katie Crutchfield’s next release as Waxahatchee – Out in the Storm, her solo project’s fourth LP, is out July 14 on Merge. The first single from the record, “Silver,” appears to be a song Crutchfield wrote last summer, reflecting on the aftermath of a falling-apart relationship. “I stare at myself and the whole world keeps turning / I went out in the storm, thought I felt the house burning,” Crutchfield sings, amidst rousing guitars and with a stirring sense of freedom.
Dating back to her P.S. Eliot days, Crutchfield has always written stunning, almost literary lyrics that can be heartbreakingly honest. After the release of Ivy Tripp two years ago – which featured bigger arrangements than before but pulled back a bit on the emotional transparency – Crutchfield hinted that her next venture might return to the bare-bones style of Waxahatchee’s bedroom-recorded debut, American Weekend. “Silver,” though, capitalizes on the full sound that larger-scale production offers but remains lyrically intimate, giving us a glimpse into the changing reality Crutchfield faced as a romantic and professional relationship dissolved. It sounds like the rest of the album will follow this time in Crutchfield’s life, as she told Lenny in an interview, but she hesitates to define Out in the Storm by the breakup: “I came out of it and I was a lot closer to myself,” Crutchfield says.
With “Silver,” after revealing the difficulty of her experience, Crutchfield emerges freer and stronger than ever, ending the song with “I went out in the storm, and I’m never returning.” The accompanying video alternates between shots of Crutchfield walking through the city streets, draped in tinsel with her backing band, and flashing close-ups of her pained expression that eventually turns into a smile. This new chapter of Waxahatchee promises to be both weighty and spirited enough to remind us of our own strength when things fall apart.