Artist to Watch: Waxahatchee

Her voice echoes the raw, sardonic, moody-girl attitude made so popular in the 1990's by artists like Liz Phair, but Crutchfield puts a modern, melodic spin on her punchy, indie-pop sound.

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Band: Waxahatchee

From: Birmingham, Alabama; now resides in Philadelphia

Members: Katie Crutchfield

Her sound: Her voice echoes the raw, sardonic, moody-girl attitude made so popular in the 1990’s by artists like Liz Phair, but Crutchfield puts a modern, melodic spin on her punchy, indie-pop sound.

3-Minute Bio: The 24-year-old began making music 10 years ago amid the DIY punk scene in Birmingham, Ala. The southern native and her twin sister, Allison Crutchfield, were most notably members of the four-piece, pop-punk band P.S. Eliot, but the two parted ways in 2011 to launch separate projects. The name Waxahatchee pays homage to Waxahatchee Creek, just outside of Birmingham, where her parents keep a house. It was in this isolated setting (without phone service), that she wrote her first effort, American Weekend, which debuted in 2011. Just as Waxahatchee may be a departure from the pressures of everyday life, Crutchfield’s latest solo project is a departure from her punk roots.

“My music has never been super punk, but I still feel apart of the punk and DIY communities,” she tells TIME. Crutchfield’s autobiographical lyrics are stripped down and honest, reflecting the restlessness of a twenty-something at an existential crossroads. Her latest album Cerulean Salt, released in March, offers more upbeat, poppy tracks than American Weekend, but not without her signature melancholy lyrics. “I’ve always written from a place of sadness,” she admits, “it’s what inspires me the most.” But the Philly resident says she’s entering a new phase, exploring abstracts and other sources of inspiration for her songcraft.

For now, she’ll continue making music in her three-story, West Philadelphia row house where she lives with her boyfriend, Keith Spencer, with whom she’s launched another band, Great Thunder; as well as her sister and her sister’s boyfriend Kyle Gilbride, both of Allison Crutchfield’s band Swearin’. Waxahatchee is set to tour Europe with Tegan and Sara for the first half of the summer, before returning to play Pitchfork Music Festival.

See this week’s release of her video for “Coast to Coast”, featuring a blond bobbed-Crutchfield splashing about with her sister Allison in where else but Waxahatchee.