Waxahatchee: Saint Cloud (2020)

Since live music has been shut down during the pandemic lock-down, I thought I'd post something on my all-time favorite live albums to help tide us over.  As that's going to be pretty lengthy, here's a quick-take in the meantime:  The new Waxahatchee album, which is just dropping today.

I've only had a chance to give it an initial listen, but it's pretty great.  Yes, I remain partial to its predecessor, 2017's phenomenal Out In The Storm.  If Storm was Katie Crutchfield's cathartic indie rock statement, packed with dark but booming anthems, Cloud is the sobriety comedown, humble heart-on-her-sleeve Americana.  I hear a few callbacks to the infectious hooks of the predecessor (the lovely pop jangle of "Can't Do Much" and "Witches," the fantastic, rollicking confessional "War"), but for the most part this is a much more laid back affair, heartland twang that sounds a lot more like Lucinda Williams than, say, the shades of the Breeders and PJ Harvey found on the last few releases.  In contrast to some of the more lo-fi outings early in Crutchfield's career, the production is lovely, giving some punch (with plenty of breathing room) to the sometimes sparse tales, and I'm excited to spend some time kicking back this weekend with the headphones on and the shades drawn.

Buy it at Bandcamp.

[FOLLOW-UP NOTE: While finalizing and launching this post, I gave "Lilacs" another listen. Well goddamn, I'm just gone...]

Here's the video for "Can't Do Much":