Katie Crutchfield’s fourth LP as Waxahatchee is her sharpest yet. Her grunge-tinted indie rock is no longer the unpolished lo-fi snugfest that it initially was, and has instead involved into a clean, more focused arrangement that has kept its infectiously intimate sprawl. Recorded with Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr collaborator John Agnello, Out in the Storm is perennially bright, with its melodies maintaining a serrated edge that ensures the sound remains robust, immersive and hard-hitting. It’s a record that documents a reasonably messy break-up, and the characteristics of Crutchfield’s sound provide the ideal canvas for her own regret and release, always sounding alive and hopeful despite its conversationally confrontational lyrical content. Crutchfield’s band – which contains twin sister Allison – have bedded themselves into a streamlined, sleek sound that impresses in its lean buoyancy, and it’s hard to argue that with this effort, Crutchfield has settled into an arrangement that brings the best out of her songwriting talent.
FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD