Waxahatchee's Katie Crutchfield: At Home Wherever She Goes
Geographically speaking, she's relatively nomadic. Born and bred in Alabama, Crutchfield was raised as Southern as they come. Three years ago, however, she left Alabama at age 22 and headed east to Philadelphia, where her band Waxahatchee's notable folk-meets-pop-punk album Cerulean Salt was recorded. Then shortly after the album's 2013 release, she and boyfriend/bandmate Keith Spencer relocated to New York, where they now reside.
At her core, however, Crutchfield is a homebody, in both the personal and professional senses of the word. Maintaining a home base, despite some geographic shuffling, is vital to a person like her. In fact, her career depends on it.
Like her friend and former roommate, Radiator Hospital leader Sam Cook-Parrott, Crutchfield opts exclusively for the intimacy of home recording; her first album, American Weekend, was recorded in Crutchfield's own bedroom, while Cerulean Salt was recorded in the basement of her former Philadelphia home.
While both albums were home-recorded, Crutchfield insists they differ immensely.
"American Weekend was an entirely solo endeavor," she says during a recent phone call. "I did everything myself. Cerulean Salt was a collaborative effort, as I bounced many of its ideas off others."
The "others" Crutchfield refers to are her musician-friends who all frequently live, write, perform and record together. Among them is Cook-Parrott, as well as homespun mastermind producer Kyle Gilbride, whose production skills both Waxahatchee and Radiator Hospital swear by. In this clique's case, collaborators double as best friends.
"I can't see myself straying from this tight-knit community of musicians," Crutchfield notes. "I have some really talented friends whose opinions I respect -- these are the people I want to continue inviting into my creative process."
A large part of that creative process is the group's insistence on home recording, a talking point that also ruled our recent interview Wednesday with Cook-Parrott.
"[Professional] studios are sterile," Crutchfield explains. "Having a time limit and a set schedule impairs the whole process. I prefer to work with people who I'm comfortable with, and who I can speak the truth to without feeling intimidated or embarrassed."
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