Album Preview: Waxahatchee’s Ivy Tripp

by Maddie Farr ’18

Waxahatchee (otherwise known as Katie Crutchfield) came into my life at the exact moment I needed her. I was a teenager hating a summer I was supposed to love. I was claustrophobic, angry, and desperate for something to help me feel better. Waxahatchee was like nothing I had heard before, and her songs captured everything I had ever thought, felt, and wanted to put into words but couldn’t. It was necessary that I heard her music, and it still is today.

(Melodramatic introduction over.)

Waxahatchee’s third album, Ivy Tripp, will be released on April 7. Her first single, “Air,” is wonderful. I’m really, really excited.

Crutchfield — a singer and songwriter from (but not currently of) Alabama — started Waxahatchee after leaving P.S. Eliot, the band she began with her twin sister, Allison Crutchfield. Her band name comes from the creek next to her family’s lake house — Waxahatchee Creek — where she wrote and recorded her first album, American Weekend.

For me, listening to Waxahatchee has always felt like listening to Joni Mitchell, but with all the anger and gritty guitars and punk undertones I always wished were there. While Waxahatchee’s sound develops and her lyrics grow more mature, her essential traits — honesty, self-awareness, anger — have stayed the same.

That being said, Ivy Tripp is a major transition for Crutchfield. What was once a girl and a guitar alone in a cabin is now a full-fledged band, with keyboards and drums and harmonies. This means clearer vocals and a stronger sound. “I think a running theme is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognizant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that,” Crutchfield said of the album, according to Pitchfork.

If “Air” — an atmospheric, punctured song about a relationship at a standstill — is any indication, Ivy Tripp will be exactly that. Crutchfield’s voice is stronger, surer, and more filled with directionless power — and I’m more than ready to hear what she has to say.

Ivy Tripp can be pre-ordered here.