Waxahatchee – Tigers Blood

Katie Crutchfield follows up the masterful Saint Cloud with more gorgeously expressive Americana

Album Review by Joe Goggins | 18 Mar 2024
  • Waxahatchee – Tigers Blood
Album title: Tigers Blood
Artist: Waxahatchee
Label: ANTI-
Release date: 22 Mar

Some records require the passage of time to reveal them as masterpieces; others patently obviously fall into that category on first listen. Katie Crutchfield made an album of which the latter is true; Saint Cloud is the high watermark of modern Americana, gorgeous in its arrangements and sumptuous in its emotional literacy. For Crutchfield, who already had a superb body of work to her name, it felt like she had truly found her niche; a sort of hard-edged, steel-magnolia folk in the vein of Lucinda Williams. The only question was where she went next.

Tigers Blood suggests Crutchfield knows she was on to a good thing, and accordingly, has leant into it. It takes the basic sonic profile of Saint Cloud and imbues it with a touch more country, chiefly through some lovely slide guitar playing, as well as with a wooziness that speaks to the pace of life in her adopted hometown of Kansas City, Missouri. She also embraces communion; MJ Lenderman’s contributions lend an extra layer of depth, and the chorus of vocalists Crutchfield leads in the album’s closing moments carry with them quiet triumph. She can’t do any wrong at the minute; this is timeless songwriting, and Tigers Blood is a worthy successor to Saint Cloud.

Listen to: Right Back to It, Burns Out at Midnight, Crowbar