Tigers Blood (Waxahatchee) – music review

Tigers Blood is the latest album from the talented singer-songwriter Katie Crutchfield, known by her stage name Waxahatchee. Having begun her career over a decade ago, Crutchfield has garnered critical acclaim with six albums under her belt. Crutchfield’s path as an artist has seen her evolve from indie lo-fi folk to the lush alt-country we here today, all while maintaining her distinctive Southern poetic voice. With Tigers Blood, Crutchfield delivers her most potent songwriting yet, exploring themes of self-reflection, love, addiction, and resilience. This album should easily find itself taking a spot on our Top 50 when the year ends.

Throughout her career, Waxahatchee has undergone a significant evolution in sound. While her earlier work leaned towards indie rock and lo-fi folk, Tigers Blood represents a departure towards a more polished and expansive overall sound. Collaborating with producer Brad Cook, Crutchfield explores new territories while staying true to her roots, resulting in a sound that feels both familiar and fresh. Having Wednesday’s MJ Lenderman collaboration on the album, complete with backing vocals, also completely enhances this album with his appearance on almost every track.

Her musical style on Tigers Blood can be described as a blend of alt-country, indie rock, and folk influences. Crutchfield’s voice remains a focal point, characterized by its honesty, closeness, and Southern lilting. The album features a range of instrumentation, including banjo, pedal steel, electric guitar, and piano, creating a rich sonic tapestry that complements Crutchfield’s introspective lyrics.

“Right Back To It” featuring harmonies reminiscent of classic country duets, showcases Crutchfield’s songwriting maturity and emotional depth while having MJ Lenderman in the background is gold. “Bored” with its drum beats and scuzzy riffs stands out as a powerful Southern rock-infused track, highlighting Crutchfield’s versatility as an artist. “365” serves as the album’s aria about addiction, “365” sees Crutchfield delivering a hauntingly vulnerable performance over minimal accompaniment, showcasing her lyrical prowess and vocal range.

Waxahatchee’s lyrics on Tigers Blood follow with Crutchfield’s storytelling prowess and introspective depth. Themes of self-acceptance, forgiveness, and resilience permeate the album, with Crutchfield addressing personal struggles with raw honesty and vulnerability. Whether exploring the complexities of love or grappling with addiction, Crutchfield’s lyrical craftsmanship shines through, resonating with listeners on a profound emotional level.

Thomas Wilde
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