Underpinned by Waxahatchee’s garage sound, fleshed out for the first time by a full band, Katie Crutchfield’s latest is an almighty scream of power and self-reliance; about holding onto the people and places that care about you and letting everything else fade; about seeing yourself clearly for the first time in years, delivered with fury, wit and immense dignity. There’s a sense of deep intimacy in witnessing her catharsis, as she exorcises the demons of a past relationship. Out In The Storm is filled with the kind of idiosyncratic insults and asides that are unique to each two people, yet still succeeds making a claim to universality, offering advice on how to reclaim your identity when you’ve spent so long defined in opposition to someone else.
The lyrics offer devastatingly surgical dissections of toxic relationships ("I lay down next to you for three years shedding my skin/Dreaming about the potential, the person I could have been"), and boast some of the most brutal takedowns of an ex this side of Idiot Wind ("You work real hard to herd your friends into a gallery/Narcissistic injury disguised as masterpiece"). The best work yet released by either of the immensely talented Crutchfield sisters (although don’t sleep on Allison’s fantastic Tourist In This Town released at the beginning of this year), Out In The Storm is the album that I found myself returning to more than any other in 2017.
Words: Nick Bedingfield