Album Review

Waxahatchee - Tigers Blood

If Saint Cloud found Crutchfield in the midst of becoming, then Tigers Blood exists as proof that she has no doubt arrived.

Waxahatchee - Tigers Blood Album Cover
March 20, 2024 7:14 pm GMT

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Waxahatchee - Tigers Blood

Label: Anti-

Producer: Brad Cook

Release Date: March 22, 2024

Tracklisting:

1. 3 Sisters

2. Evil Spawn

3. Ice Cold

4. Right Back to It

5. Burns Out at Midnight

6. Bored

7. Lone Star Lake

8. Crimes of the Heart

9. Crowbar

10. 365

11. The Wolves

12. Tigers Blood

In 2020, singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield released a masterpiece of a fifth album. Saint Cloud marked a turning point in the artist’s years-long career, offering a pristine collection of tender and triumphant songs widely lauded for their depth and vulnerability. Somehow, her new record, Tigers Blood, raises the bar once again.

Most of Waxahatchee’s sixth studio effort was written during a swell of creativity while on tour in 2022. This period of inspiration, which the artist refers to as a “hot hand spell”, is tangible throughout the release, from the first careful keys of ‘3 Sisters’ to the title track’s devastating closing harmonies. Each song breezes by like scenery past an open car window – a truck stop exit sign, evidence of gasoline ahead, a billboard proclaiming “Jesus Loves You” – every mile offers something akin to relief from this journey we’re all on.

Whether attributed to time on the road or moments spent within, Tigers Blood is a brilliant portrait of the nuances that shade our lives. On one hand, tracks like the defiant ‘Evil Spawn,’ the stark ‘Burns Out At Midnight’ and the sharp and sneering ‘Bored’ are all excitingly messy paeans to existence, to fucking up and then forging ahead. On the other, the album meanders through the wonderfully mundane, through simple slice-of-life songs about days spent on the water (‘Lone Star Lake’) or in the comfort of a lived-in kind of love (‘Right Back To It’).

In this way, many of the album’s offerings exist on a spectrum, but the collection never feels unfocused or disjointed—quite the opposite. Tigers Blood features some of Crutchfield’s most confident and assured work yet, especially the deliciously achy ‘365’ and the piercing ‘Tigers Blood’ elegy. While at moments abstract, the songwriting is ever-present and in tune, beautifully revealing who Crutchfield is now at this point in her life and career.

If Saint Cloud found Crutchfield in the midst of becoming, then Tigers Blood exists as proof that she has no doubt arrived.

9/10

Waxahatchee’s 2024 project, Tigers Blood, is available March 22 via Anti-.

For more on Waxahatchee, see below:

Written by Alli Patton
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