Yeezy Taught Me

May 28, 2015
/   Chicago

The Sunday before graduation, Kanye West decided to give a free artist lecture to SAIC faculty and students. Despite intense controversy among students, faculty and alumni, the artist lecture...

Instagram as a Canvas

May 25, 2015
/   Arts & Culture

Matty Davis, an MFA candidate at SAIC, travels over 480 miles by foot for an instagram-based art project entitled Between Heaven and Earth.

Ash

/   Literary

The Winning Entry to F Newsmagazine's Fiction Contest

Back To The Future Moment

May 20, 2014
/   Tech

This is just a place holder for people who need type to visualize what the actual copy might look like if it were real content. Don’t speak from a pulpit. Instead, imagine you’re in someone’s front room, having a one on one with them. After all, you may well be in their sitting room, and

Exploring “Europe’s Most Expensive Chapel”

August 24, 2014
/   Arts & Culture

Lisbon’s Igreja de São Roque (Church of Saint Roch) sports a deceptively plain white facade, but the interior of the 17th-century building is home to some of the most prized (and allegedly expensive) Catholic art and architecture in all of Europe.

Pzzzt – The Buzz from Albania

July 29, 2014
/   Art Review

The narrow mouth of a communist-era air-raid shelter beneath an apartment building is the home to Tirana’s independent artist-run gallery space.

Compasses Not Maps

September 11, 2014
/   Technology

Speculative Design shies away from design for mass consumption, which relies on generalizing about groups of people to create one profitable solution. Charlesworth explained her past jobs in design consulting and service design as something she found “ethically difficult.”

Alternative Art Spaces in Chicago

August 5, 2013
/   Feature Stories

Where They Began and Where They Are Now


With identities as diverse as the neighborhoods they occupy, alternative art spaces operate on the same basic premise: to share contemporary art not exhibited in Chicago’s established art institutions.

Letters to the editor

May 1, 2006
/   Feature Stories

Readers respond to Emile Ferris's article in our April issue, "Rachel Corrie is not done talking," about the New York Theatre Workshop's canceling its production of "My Name is Rachel Corrie."

SAIC FASHION 2010

June 21, 2010
/   Miscellany

F Newsmagazine talks with Nick Cave, Professor and Chair of the Department of Fashion Design, as well as with some of the students showcasing their garments.

As a lyricist, Katie Crutchfield, a.k.a. Waxahatchee, specializes in the transient. Rather than going for sweeping declarations of love and longing, she goes for the subtleties. Her previous albums, American Weekend and Cerulean Salt have gone for the stripped down guitar and an eight track aesthetic of indie folk scenes. Now, with Ivy Tripp Crutchfield is exploring pairing her poignant lyrics with some well-placed studio synths.

Though she’s releasing this record through indie giant Merge, Crutchfield’s D.I.Y. sensibilities are still evident. The opening track, “Breathless,” starts off with a staticky lo-fi organ bolstering Crutchfield as she croons, “We could be good for days.”

The second track, “Under a Rock,” is reminiscent of Crutchfield’s earlier work with its unplugged electric guitar accompaniment leading up to sprawling drums. It’s similar to Cerulean Salt’s “Misery Over Dispute.”

A strength of the album is definitely the finesse of the track listing. Crutchfield’s previous albums sometimes lost the listener by clustering the more mellow tracks together and creating a musical plateau. By contrast, Ivy Tripp experiments with the musical tension created by pairing mellow tracks with borderline indie pop singles.

With “La Loose,” Crutchfield pairs breathy back-up vocals with a drum machine providing a ’60s pop beat. The result is infectiously catchy, an indie ear worm for the masses. The bubblegum beat coupled with the shamelessly earnest nature of the lyrics is reminiscent of early ’60s girl groups like the Ronettes or the Shangri-Las.

However, just because she knows her way around a pop song doesn’t mean that Crutchfield deviates from her well-loved boundless garage rock aesthetic. For the second half of the album, the tracks maintain a jangly rhythmic quality similar to garage rock. The low-key afternoon-beach-vibes of tracks like blue where Crutchfield sings, “We/ we never leave the beach/ we’ll grow numb to the mystique/ and the world spins as we sleep.”

The ethos of the album seems most evident on tracks like “Poison” and “Air,” where the guitars are feedback laden and her voice is boundless. Air was the first single off the album and it was clearly evident of Crutchfield’s new artistic direction. The soaring vocals and layered instrumental tracks indicated the more musically sophisticated direction, which Crutchfield has been exploring.

It’s clear that Katie Crutchfield has come a long way since she was part of P.S. Elliot with her sister Allison back in 2011. Surprisingly, Crutchfield seems comfortable with the bold implications of a studio-produced album. It seems like the right format for Crutchfield to fully realize her vision as a musician, the opportunity to experiment with layering instrumental tracks and self-made back up vocals has only served to spotlight the subtle brilliance of her lyrics.

Crutchfield’s skills as a lyricist have also improved significantly; with Ivy Tripp she seems much more self aware, acknowledging how the emotional pain afflicted within relationships often goes both ways.

Overall, the critical reception of Ivy Tripp has been great, garnering Crutchfield a New Yorker profile, and NPR’s Eric Ducker called Ivy Tripp “fantastic.”

Ivy Tripp has served as the perfect addition to summer festival season. She recently played at the Coachella Valley Arts and Music Festival. This May, Waxahatchee will be heading to Chicago with Chicago-based band Carbonleak. They’ll be playing the Empty Bottle on May 8, a limited number of tickets will be available at the door. If you’re like me, and the Empty Bottle’s 21+ philosophy continually crushes your dreams, then you can catch Waxahatchee at Pitchfork on July 19th.

 

Cover image courtesy of Merge Records

Alexia Casanova

Marseille - London - Mexico - Chicago. Arts Editor of F Newsmagazine. Arts Management Grad Student at SAIC.

Jessica Barrett Sattell

Design & Tech Writer. Web Editor of F Newsmagazine + Arts Journalism Grad Student at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Alyssa Moxley

Alyssa Moxley graduated SAIC with an MFA in Sound. Using multiple voices, microphone techniques, field recording, music, sound design, and speaker placement, she plays with memory as both a personal and shared medium.

Troy Pieper

A writer and editor based in Chicago, Illinois. I provide fresh, compelling arts and culture content to a variety of publications and write powerful, targeted copy for a range of institutions.

Megan Byrne

New York & Chicago. News Editor for F Newsmagazine.

Sarah Wheat

Sarah is the Social Media Manager for F Newsmagazine as well as a graduate student in Modern and Contemporary Art History at SAIC.

Kimia Maleki

Kimia Maleki is a master’s candidate in the Department of Arts Administration and Policy at SAIC.