Allison Crutchfield: "At its core, it's a feminist break-up album"
Allison Crutchfield one of the most well-loved staples of the DIY scene; her debut solo album allows listeners to get just a little closer.
Published: 12:27 pm, February 03, 2017
You probably know Allison Crutchfield from P.S. Eliot, or Swearin', or maybe Waxahatchee - but with ‘Tourist In This Town' she's stepped away from her bandmates for a record that's a degree more personal.
Is there anything you really hope listeners will "get" or appreciate about the record?
Hey Allison, how's things?
I'm doing well! Currently drinking coffee at my parents' house in Alabama while the Today Show plays in the background; the Property Brothers are on.
What prompted you to go it alone for ‘Tourist In This Town'?
Well, I was on tour with Waxahatchee for all of 2015, and anytime I'm on tour I'm thinking about writing and making records. Swearin' ended early in the year, and so I envisioned this album as a solo thing pretty much as soon as I decided I was ready to make something new.
Have you found yourself writing about more personal or different topics with less input from others?
For sure. I think that's also something that prompted me making this record now; being in a band that operated as democratically as Swearin' tended to was sometimes daunting for me as a songwriter, mostly because of how close I was to everyone in the band. I think that made me feel inhibited and intimidated, and also I wanted to write songs that represented my band and that my bandmates liked? Writing this album felt natural and cathartic, I think because I could just write freely and not stress about other people hearing these songs in their infancy.
How did you find your time recording? Were you able to explore new ground?
I think the whole process was an act in self-invention honestly. This was my first time working with Jeff Zeigler, and my first time in a studio without Kyle [Gilbride from Swearin'] in the control room in years. And while I feel like it was maybe out of character for me (being a neurotic freak and all), I was immediately comfortable working in that environment, partly because he just rules and also partly because he's a sonic wizard and has an amazing synth collection. We clicked pretty instantly, and I think he just really got what I was doing and what I wanted, so we had a similar agenda early on. And he was excited about it! Which is not always the case, so I was grateful for that! Good vibes all around.
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Not really? I think that this record is pretty straight forward, but at its core, it's a feminist break-up album. That's what I wanted it to be, and I feel like that comes across. I hope people who hear it can find some comfort in that.
Is the finished album everything you intended it to be when you started? Did it evolve much throughout the process?
Yes and no. I think I had a really clear idea of what I wanted when I went in to make it, down to the track list. And the people who played on it were extremely rehearsed because I wanted to be prepared but it would be a lie to say that there weren't changes made or flare added in the studio because that's just what always happens. I would say all in all, though, this record has just been what it is from day one; it was a weird puzzle in my brain that I put together and then wrote down and recorded with the help of some friends. I was pretty obsessive about keeping it that way, momentary and true to life. Very autobiographical.
Did you learn anything new about yourself over the course of the record's creation?
Definitely, but I won't share.
What does being a musician mean to you right now? Has it changed since you first started out?
I don't know if being a musician means anything to me because I just am one. I think a lot has changed for me as a human since I started playing in rock bands, but I still just want to make music that I like, and that's kind of why I started.
Do you intend to release more solo albums/material over the next few years?
Yes, I'm under contract.
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