Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee

Palehound, Outer Spaces

Wed. August 16

8:00 pm

$13.00 - $15.00

Waxahatchee
Waxahatchee
WAXAHATCHEE

Out in the Storm, Katie Crutchfield’s fourth album as Waxahatchee and her second release with Merge, is the blazing result of a woman reawakened. Her most autobiographical and honest album to date, Out in the Storm is a self-reflective anchor in the story of both her songwriting and her life. As Crutchfield prepared for the release of her Merge debut Ivy Tripp, she found herself depleted emotionally and professionally amidst the dissolution of a noxious relationship. “Ivy Tripp doesn’t really have any resolution. It’s a lot of beating around the bush, and superficially trying to see my life clearly, but just barely scratching the surface. Out in the Storm digs into what I was going through without blinking. It’s a very honest record about a time in which I was not honest with myself.”
The album was tracked at Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia with John Agnello, a producer, recording engineer, and mixer known for working with some of the most iconic musicians of the last 25 years, including Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth. Agnello and Crutchfield worked together for most of December 2016, along with the band: sister Allison Crutchfield on keyboards and percussion, Katherine Simonetti on bass, and Ashley Arnwine on drums; Katie Harkin, touring guitarist with Sleater-Kinney, also contributed lead guitar. At Agnello’s suggestion, the group recorded most of the music live to enhance their unity in a way that gives the album a fuller sound compared to past releases, resulting in one of Waxahatchee’s most guitar-driven releases to date.
Palehound
Ellen Kempner, the 21-year-old guitarist and songwriter behind Boston based project, Palehound, is even more prodigious than her age suggests; influenced by her musician father, she struck out on the songwriting path while she was still in elementary school. "I was kind of a shy kid," says Kempner. "Music was a good way for me to express myself – I had a hard time socially, and it was a way for me to feel like I could contribute something and impress people in some way."

"I envy 10-year-old me," she laughs. "I would sit in my room for an hour, write a song, and be done. Now, it takes more time." The eight songs that make up Dry Food, which Kempner wrote from 2013 to 2014 and recorded with Gabe Wax (Wye Oak, Speedy Ortiz) last summer, are wry and confessional, full of unexpected twists and turns. Kempner's whispery alto gives the album a raw, confessional feel, even on louder tracks like the crashing, reverb-augmented "Cushioned Caging." That's partially because Dry Food is a snapshot of a time in Kempner's life defined by instability and shifting, leaving Sarah Lawrence before her eventual move to Boston.

"I was coming off a transitional time in my life," says Kempner of the period when Dry Food was written. "I was struggling in college, and with mental health issues. The album is a snapshot of a weird time for me, where I was transitioning from being in college to getting a job.

"The year between 19 and 20 is this weirdly insignificant time – you're kind of an adult, but not a real adult. That was kind of hard for me, to think, 'I'm not a kid, and there are things in my life making that very, very obvious to me, but I also can't really fathom being an adult yet.'"

Despite the underlying factors, though, Dry Food is confident and cohesive, full of sophisticated songwriting and guitar playing. Kempner cites Elliott Smith and Kim Deal, as well as Angel Olsen and her childhood musical hero Avril Lavigne, as songwriting influences. ("I was obsessed with Let Go, and I still love that album," she declares. "I was in third grade and would wear ties to school.")

The glistening, complex guitar work on the dreamy "Cinnamon" and the fuzzed-out textures on album opener "Molly" makes plain that Kempner's musical roots grow deep. "Wes Montgomery is one of my biggest guitar influences," she notes. "I studied his music in college, and I still will pull up a chart of his and try to figure it out."

Kempner played everything but the drum parts on Dry Food, but live, Palehound is rounded out by drummer Jesse Weiss, of the gnarly Boston act Grass Is Green, and bassist David Khostinat, who had previously worked with Weiss in the band Supervolcano.

Teaming up with Weiss and his crisp, steady drumming was, for Kempner, serendipitous. "I heard [Grass Is Green] when I was 16 or 17, and I thought they were the best thing I'd ever heard in my life," she says. "Particularly the drummer. I saw them live for the first time right after I'd turned 18, and I watched Jesse the whole time. I worshiped him.

"He has this innate sense of how to work his kit. I can just get onstage and know that he's going to play perfectly, and I can rely on him."

While Dry Food chronicles a particularly rough patch in Kempner's life, it does so with verve and grit, not to mention sterling musicianship and wry lyrics. Dry Food is a flag-plant by a young woman with a lot on her mind and talent to burn.
Outer Spaces
The genesis of A Shedding Snake can be traced back to the solo ventures of Cara Beth Satalino in the mid to late 2000s while she attended SUNY Purchase. Satalino’s somber, solitary songwriter aesthetic was later informed by her tenure playing in the Athens, GA based rough-around-the-edges power trio Witches until they disbanded in 2012. Following the break up, Satalino's focus was directed back toward her solo material, and what would become Outer Spaces. Relocating to the artistically fertile city of Baltimore, Satalino formed a solid lineup for the group, including fellow Purchase College alums Chester Gwazda, who had previously produced Satalino's solo recordings, as well as albums by Future Islands, Cloud Nothings and Dan Deacon and Rob Dowler of the bands Tides and Nuclear Power Pants. The band had the opportunity to participate in the Matador Records Singles Going Home Alone 7" series, and released the Garbage Beach EP via Salinas Records in 2014. A Shedding Snake is Outer Space'€™s debut full-length effort. The album is one of transition for Satalino. Some of the material was composed back when she lived in Athens and, stylistically, it shows: there'€™s some definite Murmur-era Michael Stipe and Peter Buck influence in aesthetic and songwriting. But Satalino bridges the gap from what'€™s in her rear-view to her present. "€œMoving to a new place is a chance for a clean slate in a way, and I think that the songs on this record reflect that feeling,"€ she says. "It's a record about moving on, moving past, moving forward, and moving toward."
Venue Information:
El Club
4114 Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI, 48209