“…Waxahatchee’s gorgeous set felt like the thawing of our pandemic-frozen beings. With the exception of a Haim cover (“The Steps”), Birmingham native Katie Crutchfield’s performance was drawn entirely from her fifth and most recent album, St. Cloud. The arrangements are uncluttered, infused with the timeless feel of southern music tradition (think Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, Tammy Wynette), a clean palette for her lyrical artistry.
Crutchfield knows she’s arrived, in a sense—on “The Eye,” she sings, “I leave my home, desolate but not alone.” She’s referred to St. Cloud as the favorite thing she’s ever made, and there’s a real joy in sharing in her love for what’s going on here, sonically and lyrically.
While the album feels open and airy, it’s not exactly sunny. “Ruby Falls,” for instance, opens with: “I take flight on borrowed time / I was once terrified of heights,” and ends underground, “I’ll sing a song at your funeral / Laid in the Mississippi gulf / Or back home at Waxahatchee Creek.” In the span of three minutes and forty-five seconds, we’re taken through a story in three parts, referencing a friend who Crutchfield lost to a drug overdose.
Waxahatchee’s set ended with “Fire,” a song I’ve listened to through my headphones countless times. To hear it live, reverberating in the summer night, was something else. It was golden hour and Crutchfield’s white dress was cast in a soft, warm glow. It’s a song about lessons learned after getting sober, about being ok with uncertainty. The song fades out on a repeated refrain: “It ain’t enough…”
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