Cosmetic Illusion: Waxahatchee Explains Her Album Covers

Photo by Molly Matalon

Katie Crutchfield takes Bandbox behind the sleeve and tells us about the inspiration for each of her five LPs’ artwork. The Waxahatchee singer clearly has “The Eye” for design…

American Weekend (2012)
“This cover had the least amount of direction from me of any of my album covers. It was designed by artist Aimee Lusty. She dug through old photos at the library and set aside anything that the album evoked for her. The color scheme of white, red and black is a tried and true favorite of mine.”

 

 

Cerulean Salt (2013)
“This was a collaboration between a very old friend of mine, Ryan Russell, and me. Ryan is an amazing photographer and has documented my musical existence pretty much from the start. I gave loose direction of wanting lots of blues - perhaps water - and I wanted it to be PJ Harvey Rid of Me era-esque. We shot these in about an hour in an above ground pool in Alabama.”

 

 

Ivy Tripp (2015)
“This is one of my favorites and it was a total happy accident. The original vision for this record cover involved a sheet with spray-painted text but the photos didn’t look cool. The record was made while I was living on Long Island, so my dear friend Jesse Riggins came out there and shot a bunch of photos for the cover. The one we ended up using was actually just for B-roll extra shots. The layout was done by Maggie Fost, who worked at Merge at the time.”

 

 

Out in the Storm (2017)
“This cover and entire design were definitely the ones I put the most work into. The photos were all done by Daniel Shea and I really put a lot of the control in his hands because I’m such a fan of his work. We shot for a few days in Upstate New York, based on other photos of Daniel’s. I really liked the idea of looking like I was falling. The photo we used and the entire series of photos we were choosing from were all taken while I was jumping on a trampoline and Daniel was shooting closeups of my face and hair.”

 

 

Saint Cloud (2020)
“This is my favorite of all my covers and the one I personally had the most specific vision for. I’m not really sure where exactly the image comes from. I sort of channeled it from the country music goddesses. I wanted it to evoke Emmylou Harris Elite Hotel feelings, but obviously the actual image is pretty different. My friend Molly Matalon, who I’d worked with before, took the photos and my other friend Andreina Byrne did all the set design to a meticulous T. We all met up in Austin right after I’d finished recording and shot the photos. The guy who lent us the truck was from my neighborhood in Kansas, weirdly enough.”