Indie Music

Waxahatchee: Tigers Blood review – sprightly Americana with added poise

“I try to write in a way that’s relatable to anyone with any problem,” Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield says of Tigers Blood. But is that what her fans want from her, or is it all a bit country Coldplay? The American singer-songwriter’s last Waxahatchee album, 2020’s Saint Cloud, was a critical hit and career gamechanger. That sort of acclaim can lead to artists overthinking a follow-up, torn between more of the same and the shock of the new.

Crutchfield rides a middle road here. Same producer yet different band; same sprightly Americana vibe yet more emotionally placid than its predecessor, which recounted a troubled reckoning with her newfound sobriety. “I make a living crying, it ain’t fair,” she wryly notes on opener 3 Sisters, but there’s barely a wobbling lip here, let alone tears.

There’s little of the strung-out singing and barn-burning drama that lit up Saint Cloud standouts such as Fire and Can’t Do Much. In the profit ledger, Crutchfield’s vocals are poised and precise – her best yet, caressing flamboyantly poetic lyrics. The band is limber, handling everything from the atypically heavy, spiteful Bored to the languid title track. Coldplay would be proud.

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