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Waxahatchee - Tigers Blood (Album Review)

Friday, 22 March 2024 Written by Craig Howieson

Waxahatchee’s 2020 record ‘Saint Cloud’ will likely come to be viewed as a tipping point in the career of singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield. Her fifth record in eight years, it transformed her from indie-folk’s best kept secret into an alt-Americana star.

Four years on, and with the applause of notably bigger venues still ringing in her ears, she returns with ‘Tigers Blood’, a record that faces the unsettling aspects of settling down, drawing contentment from the safety of routine. 

Having given up drinking prior to ‘Saint Cloud,’ the wilder days of her early life on the road may be in the rear view mirror but, if anything, abstinence has only served to sharpen Crutchfield's gaze.

As satisfying as her life may be, she retains an acerbic outlook on the issues that plague even the happiest of homes. There are truths, lies and insecurities on ‘Tigers Blood’ and while ‘Saint Cloud' may have masked its spiky core with lavish production, this record feels more comfortable in its bare bones.

Crutchfield’s voice continues to hold the wavering charm of a waltzer ride, with her vocal melody on opener 3 Sisters nothing short of entrancing. The involvement of labelmate, solo artist and Wednesday guitarist MJ Lenderman also adds depth to the album — his playing has a sprightly twang that those familiar with his work will appreciate. 

But it is the harmonies between Crutchfield and Lenderman that capture a real sense of magic — like two old souls projected from a different time, the ‘good ole days’ they sing about on highlight Evil Spawn don’t seem too distant at all.

‘Tigers Blood’ will undoubtedly build upon Crutchfield's burgeoning reputation as one of the finest singer-songwriters out there right now. Widescreen Americana with a genuine appreciation for the weakness at the heart of us even at our strongest, it signals an irresistible surge towards mainstream success. 

Waxahatchee Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed July 24 2024 - BRIGHTON Chalk
Thu July 25 2024 - LONDON O2 Forum Kentish Town
Sat July 27 2024 - MANCHESTER New Century
Mon July 29 2024 - LEEDS Leeds Irish Centre
Tue July 30 2024 - GLASGOW QMU
Wed July 31 2024 - BELFAST Empire Music Hall
Thu August 01 2024 - DUBLIN Vicar Street

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