New Album Announcements: Waxahatchee, Sufjan Stevens

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 01.12.15 in News

The album-release forecast for 2015 keeps getting clearer. On the major-label front, the big announcement today was Death Cab for Cutie‘s upcoming album Kintsugi, which is technically their first without departed guitarist/producer Chris Walla, though he appears on the album as both a musician and a muse. On a more intimate tier comes word today of upcoming LPs from Waxahatchee and Sufjan Stevens.

Waxahatchee, the solo project of Katie Crutchfield, will release Ivy Tripp on April 7 via Merge Records. She co-produced the album with Kyle Gilbride and Keith Spencer, who play on the record and are also in the band Swearin’ with her twin sister Allison Crutchfield. A press release promises “more guitar work, piano, drum machines and Crutchfield’s vocals in full bloom,” and there’s certainly a richness to the first track shared from the album, “Air,” which you can listen to below.

It’s the follow-up to 2013′s exposed-nerve opus Cerulean Salt, and the title is “really just a term I made up for directionless-ness, specifically of the 20-something, 30-something, 40-something of today,” Crutchfield says in the release. “I have thought of it like this: Cerulean Salt is a solid and Ivy Tripp is a gas.”

She says has processed big changes in her life over the past two years through songwriting. “I think a running theme [of Ivy Tripp] is steadying yourself on shaky ground and reminding yourself that you have control in situations that seem overwhelming, or just being cognizant in moments of deep confusion or sadness, and learning to really feel emotions and to grow from that,” Crutchfield explains.

Elsewhere, she adds: “I heard someone say that you have to be the change you want to see. I just want to be the kind of musician I want to see in the world. I want to present myself in a way that reflects that.”

Waxahatchee hasn’t shared a full Ivy Tripp tracklist yet, but scroll down for tour dates, with a backing band including her sister Allison.

As for Stevens, he’s now closing in on five years since his last album, the electronic-oriented The Age of Adz. He’ll be back with a new one, Carrie & Lowell, on March 31 in North America via Asthmatic Kitty. According to a press release, the album is named after Stevens’s mother and stepfather and is a return of his folk roots. There are no songs available from this one just yet, but you can watch an album trailer below.

Stevens hasn’t been idle in the interim. His second Brooklyn Academy of Music commission, a score for a rodeo documentary, will be performed January 20 through January 25 at BAM’s Harvey Theater. His post-Adz work also includes new Christmas music and a collaborative EP and album with Serengeti and Son Lux as Sisyphus.

Finally, this isn’t quite an album announcement but it has to go somewhere: Carly Rae Jepsen has shared photos of herself in the studio with Dev Hynes and Ariel Rechstshaid, who both worked on Sky Ferreira’s “Everything is Embarrassing” and Solange’s “Losing You.” Call us intrigued, definitely not maybe.

Waxahatchee, 'Ivy Tripp'

Waxahatchee tour dates

Jan 26 London, UK — St. Pancras Church
Jan 28 Paris, FR — L’Espace B
Jan 31 Brussels, B — Botanique
Feb 1 Amsterdam, NL — Paradiso
Feb 4 Berlin, DE — Monarch
May 23 Dresden, DE — Beatpol
Apr 7 Washington, DC — The Black Cat ^
Apr 8 Philadelphia, PA — Union Transfer ^ %
Apr 9 Brooklyn, NY — Music Hall of Williamsburg ^ %
Apr 10 Harrisonburg, VA — Clementine ^
Apr 11 Carrboro, NC — Cat’s Cradle Backroom ^
Apr 12 Asheville, NC — The Mothlight ^
Apr 13 Atlanta, GA — Drunken Unicorn ^
Apr 15 Birmingham, AL — The Bottletree ^
Apr 16 Gainesville, FL — The Wooly ^
Apr 17 Tallahassee, FL — Club Down Under ^
Apr 18 Pensacola, FL — Vinyl Music Hall ^
Apr 19 New Orleans, LA — Gasa Gasa ^
Apr 20 Houston, TX — Walters Downtown ^
Apr 21 Austin, TX — Red 7 ^
Apr 22 Denton, TX — Rubber Gloves ^
Apr 24 Albuquerque, NM — Sister %
Apr 25 Phoenix, AZ — Valley Bar %
Apr 26 San Diego, CA — The Casbah %
Apr 28 Los Angeles, CA — The Roxy %
Apr 29 San Francisco, CA — Great American Music Hall %
May 1 Portland, OR — Doug Fir %
May 2 Vancouver, BC — Biltmore Cabaret %
May 3 Seattle, WA — The Crocodile %
May 6 Minneapolis, MN — Triple Rock Social Club %
May 7 Chicago, IL — Empty Bottle %
May 8 Chicago, IL — The Beat Kitchen %
May 9 Detroit, MI — UFO %
May 10 Toronto, ON — The Garrison %
May 11 Montreal, QC — Bar Le Ritz PDB %
May 12 Burlington, VT — The Monkey House %
May 13 Boston, MA — The Sinclair %
May 14 East Greenwich, RI — Greenwich Odeum %
Jun 8 Koln, DE — Blue Shell
Jun 10 London, UK — Electric Ballroom
Jun 11 Bristol, UK — The Fleece
Jun 12 Manchester, UK — The Ruby Lounge
Jun 13 Dublin, IR — Button Factory
Jun 14 Belfast, UK — McHughs
Jun 15 Glasgow, UK — Stereo
Jun 16 Newcastle, UK — The Cluny
Jun 17 Leeds, UK — The Brudenell Social Club
Jun 18 Sheffield, UK — The Harley
Jun 19 Southampton, UK — Joiners
Jun 20 Brighton, UK — Bleach

^ = w/ The Goodbye Party
% = w/ Girlpool

Sufjan Stevens, Carrie & Lowell cover art

Carrie & Lowell (March 31, Asthmatic Kitty)

1. Death With Dignity
2 Should Have Known Better
3 All of Me Wants All of You
4 Drawn to the Blood
5 Fourth of July
6 The Only Thing
7 Carrie & Lowell
8 Eugene
9 John My Beloved
10 No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross
11 Blue Bucket of Gold