Single Review: “Silver” by Waxahatchee

Waxahatchee has announced a new album, “Out in the Storm,” and released a new single titled “Silver” along with a music video. Waxahatchee, the project of Katie Crutchfield, is taking a new direction with this song, which they are known for with each album. The brilliant album, “Ivy Tripp,” released in 2015 felt very singular and lonely, a reaction to an ending relationship, filled with heartbroken lyrics and DIY keyboard beats. “Silver” takes a turn on this, connecting back to Crutchfield’s roots with her band P.S. Eliot. The endless driving guitar and the notable accompaniment of her sister Alison on drums completes this image, but feels much cleaner and sharper than a P.S. Eliot song.

The song is about the decline of a relationship, and the way it feels to be stuck helpless as everything disintegrates. “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,” Katie Crutchfield notes. The song has few words, but each one is poignant and powerful. “I’ll portray the old shag carpet/ You can walk all over me,” Crutchfield sings, describing her failure to act as the relationship turns sour.

The song is about stoic independence, letting go, and, ultimately, finding beauty in yourself. This is highlighted by the vocals being doubled so Crutchfield is harmonizing with herself, literally singing along to her own song, and the her face overlaid on top of itself to express this visually in the music video. She describes her skin as turning to silver while a part of herself rots, a gruesome image that suggests outward beauty but inner collapse. The wordless chorus adds to this idea, expressing freedom and forgetting.

The song was produced with John Agnello of Dinosaur Jr. and Sonic Youth here in Philadelphia, and features Katie Harkin (the touring guitarist for Sleater-Kinney), Katherine Simonetti, and Ashley Arnwine. Catherine Elicson directed the music video, an intimate view of the band performing and Crutchfield touring the streets. Out in the Storm will be released July 14, and is available for pre-order now at Merge Records.

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