Katie Crutchfield is a busy woman. Having just released a EP under a new project Great Thunder with boyfriend Keith Spencer (It is excellent. And free.) as well as currently touring her latest and second album under her solo Waxahatchee project, Cerulean Salt, and we spoke to Katie to find out a little more about Waxahatchee.

"[It] started while P.S Eliot was still going," Katie tells us, recounting the band she used to play in with her twin sister, Alison who now plays in Swearin. P.S. Eliot called it a day two years ago after releasing some truly stellar music such as the acclaimed Introverted Romance In Our Troubled Minds but after four years, parted ways. "We all had other projects that had taken priority," and for Katie it was Waxahatchee. The split was amicable, "Allison and I moved from the south to new york. The line-up changes had gotten a little tiring and we just decided to move on. We're all still very close," says Katie. And she's not only referring to their lasting friendships: "Katherine [Simonetti] from P.S. Eliot is playing bass with me now."

Cerulean Salt is to be released in the UK this July and has already been met with widespread praise across the Atlantic. "It's about a lot of things but mostly about nostalgia," Katie says. And it's in her nostalgia that Waxahatchee seemingly finds its footing. "P.S. Eliot songs always started with demos that actually sound quite a bit like the songs on American Weekend' and making recordings like that had always been step 1 in my writing process. As far as content, I really think the two are quite similar."

"P.S. Eliot and Waxahatchee are similar and the substance originates in the same place. I think I've grown emotionally since I wrote for P.S. Eliot and perhaps Waxahatchee can feel more vulnerable and more raw." Upon hearing Cerulean Salt, it's quite evident that it is this emotional intensity that indeed lends its power to Waxahatchee's music. The emotion being channelled? Sadness evidently. When asked if sorrow is her default writing style, Katie agrees saying "I think that I fear sounding cheap and overstated and it's easy to avoid that in sadness if you're careful. I'm mistaken as a sad person," to which she retorts "I don't think I am." But Katie says that despite the outward perception of a misery and unhappiness, she isn't too fazed: "I have a pretty staunch chain of priorities in what I do and caring about what the world is going to think or how they're going to take me and what I'm making isn't even on it at this point."

It's rather clear from Waxahatchee's music that Katie's bearing of her soul is one of her primary methods of songwriting from the personal inflections scattered throughout the lyrics of Cerulean Salt to the very way emotion bleeds into her delivery and style. "I think people can be honest without being literal or blatant about it," Katie says when asked if she thinks honesty plays a major role in the songwriting of today.

In response to being asked if she has overcome the personal stress and anxiety over performing intimate stories from within she answers, "Not really. Sometimes it's fun and it's like getting out a cry or something and afterwards I feel refreshed. Sometimes it's really hard. It's all difficult to predict so I try and keep my eye on the ball and listen to myself when it comes to touring and playing and that type of thing. Playing with a band, which is how I've been touring lately, is helpful."

And indeed, Katie's extensive support system has been a source of encouragement and help. "I haven't departed from the community. I've gotten a lot of really amazing opportunities over the last few months but I still function within the punk environment here," Katie says.

On her writing process she tell us "I'd write, record and release a lot more often if I didn't tour. I don't really write on the road. I take down a lot of ideas and collect them at the end." She explains, "The end result and the 'product' and all of that isn't in my mind when I'm writing." Discussing the evolution of her sound from her debut album as Waxahatcee, American Weekend Katie says that "lyrically it's similar but the subject matter is a bit more abstract and broad. Musically, it's basically the opposite sonically and similarly simple melodically." And the evolution of herself: "I think everyone progresses and evolves and unfolds over time and especially in such a transitional stage as early high school to mid-20s." And the changes have been producing some wonderful results. "Granted, until this album a very small number of people knew about my music so perhaps I'll have to shift a bit."

I guess you can call touring alongside heavyweights Tegan & Sara a shift though the phrase "a bit" might have to be refined. Either way, it's wholly evident that with Waxahatchee, Katie Crutchfield has more in store for her. Simultaneously behind the helm of several projects, touring and releasing the odd Grimes cover with her sister, Katie has indeed been keeping herself preoccupied and judging by the fruits of her labour, the preoccupation is yielding some very promising results.


Cerulean Salt is out July 1 in the UK from Wichita Records. She tours the UK beginning June 8 with more dates found here.