These Musical Sisters Excel in New Albums

Katie and Allison Crutchfield, of Waxahatchee and Swearin’, make beautiful—but separate—art.

Album Reviews

Swearin’
Fall Into the Sun
Merge

Waxahatchee
Great Thunder
Merge

Whether collaborating in the now-departed P.S. Eliot or working separately, sisters Katie and Allison Crutchfield excel at urgent rock and roll combining garage-band scruffiness and confessional intimacy. On Fall Into the Sun, the third album by the rebooted Swearin’, Allison and fellow singer-songwriter Kyle Gilbride explore wobbly and doomed relationships in tunes shaped by buzzing electric guitars and insistent vocals that are passionate rather than polished (which is a good thing). She tends to be more straightforward, at one point asking, “Will you come back soon and/Let me love you completely/Or will I watch you grow into a ghost?” though he seems equally discombobulated. Either way, it’s like sneaking a tantalizing guilty peek at someone’s diary.

Meanwhile, Katie shifts gears dramatically on the six-track EP Great Thunder, unplugging and slowing down to expose the anguished heart that defines much of her best work. Piano, acoustic guitar, and even banjo provide a peaceful backdrop that only emphasizes her raw emotions as she wails, “I cried all night when you came to my side,” or murmurs, “You left me with an ocean on this rotten day,” roiling in gloom. Absorbing and exhausting, this 18-minute gem packs a cathartic wallop, despite its brevity.

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate