Waxahatchee - Saint Cloud
Critic Score
Based on 34 reviews
2020 Ratings: #30 / 600
User Score
Based on 685 ratings
2020 Ratings: #338
Liked by 39 people
March 27, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Merge / Label
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Independent

On the American singer-songwriter’s fifth album, Saint Cloud, luscious melodies are undercut by a lingering unease, sentimentality by steeliness.

100
The Guardian
Aided by unfussy, clean but never sterile production by Brad Cook – and perhaps the sobriety she has recently embraced – the haze has lifted and her songwriting can really be seen.
95
The Line of Best Fit
It holds the best batch of Waxahatchee songs yet, with Crutchfield at her most candid, raw and clear-eyed. This is the work of someone who’s begun to write a bold new chapter in her life, and it’s special stuff.
91
Consequence of Sound

She embraces the messiness of growing up and taking responsibility for one’s actions and composes the apex of everything she’s accomplished thus far. Saint Cloud offers us the best possible version of Crutchfield she could possibly give us.

90
Loud and Quiet

The tumult and churn of Out in the Storm must now feel worth it: this stunningly pretty ode to recovery is Crutchfield’s finest work, and possibly her masterpiece.

90
Gigwise

Saint Cloud offers guidance, accepting that not even something we idolise and long for in society is perfect, in most cases it is messy, complicated and difficult, whilst still hinting that it may all be worth it.

90
Exclaim!

Saint Cloud is a refreshing listen from an exceptional singer-songwriter that shatters the myth of hard-living artists and proves that great artists can make great art without a drink.

90
PopMatters

Saint Cloud, like Car Wheels, finds an artist operating at the top of her game, embracing, as Crutchfield put it, "the contradictions and the unknown" to produce a thrilling and inspirational work.

90
DIY

‘Saint Cloud’ is the rousing of a regenerated spirit that chronicles not just the journey but the revelations of love, life and death that comes with it. A very special album indeed.

90
Clash

‘Saint Cloud’ is the refreshed, reformed and matured Waxahatchee – and it’s glorious.

90
Paste

Saint Cloud is the sound of Katie Crutchfield at her most conscious, comfortable and controlled.

90
Sputnikmusic

She’s as lucid as we’ve ever heard her, stripping down to her emotional core and daring us to make eye contact.

90
Spectrum Culture

Saint Cloud marks Crutchfield’s evolution from gifted songwriter into masterful storyteller, standing shoulder to guitar-slung shoulder beside Lucinda Williams and Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton. It is the sound of the rainbow that follows the storm.

87
Pitchfork

With a shift in tone and tempo, Katie Crutchfield creates a vivid modern classic of folk and Americana. It’s the sound of a cherished songwriter thawing out under the sun.

85
Under The Radar
No hiding behind layers of fuzz or buzzy guitars, Crutchfield puts herself out on full display with great aplomb and loads of insight.
80
Slant Magazine

Adopting a free and easy Americana style marked by both twangy guitars and dreamy keys, the songs here are at once deeply intimate and broadly accessible, like selections from an alternative universe where modern mainstream country radio isn’t all pandering, homogenized slop.

80
The Skinny

An elemental voice for our weary souls, Saint Cloud marks a moment of reckoning for Katie Crutchfield, aka Waxahatchee.

80
NME
It’s a pleasure to hear one of America’s finest modern songwriters working in her brand new element.
80
The Arts Desk

Saint Cloud documents a journey towards self-acceptance; one woman’s reckoning with her past and its impact on the people she loves.

80
AllMusic
While alternating between regretful slower tracks, midtempo drawls, and livelier, foot-tapping fare, the album never moves off dirt roads and adjacent orchards, and proves to be her most carefree-sounding effort to date.
80
The Sydney Morning Herald

Especially in these trying times, records like this one are crucial to remind us of the universality of the human experience: pain, love, loss, forgiveness, endings and – most importantly – beginnings.

80
Rolling Stone

On her latest album Saint Cloud, the 31-year-old songwriter trades in the indie-rock neurosis of her previous work for a mellower, twangy sound that nods towards her roots in Birmingham, Alabama. But her piercing observations have only grown sharper with time.

80
Crack Magazine

While her output as Waxahatchee has always been brave, this album possesses a new kind of strength.

80
musicOMH

It’s the sound of a woman at peace with herself, and Crutchfield’s newfound serenity makes for a wonderful listen.

80
The Young Folks

It’s her most consistently engaging album, with a rustic charm delivered by her sharp songwriting and choice of backup band, which consists of a strong cohort of experienced country-rockers.

80
Dork

‘Saint Cloud’ feels like the validation of a decade of supremely beautiful songwriting and is the work of someone newly at peace with themselves and assured in the quality of their beautifully exquisite songs.

80
Uncut

Even as Crutchfield pushes her voice in her most beguiling melodic hooks yet, her words explore ongoing restlessness. The sense of warmth and uplift is all in the music, rich with bright chords and hooks, pulling her forward even as she sings of feeling pulled back.

80
Q Magazine

This utterly beautiful balm of a record feels less like a confessional, and more a vessel for warmth, serenity and worldly wisdom.

80
Mojo

With Saint Cloud, Katie Crutchfield (as Waxahatchee), has twisted a thick braid of an album, each song a bundle of strands interweaving with the next.

80
Upset

Distinctly quieter than her previous work, the Americana-tinged reflections act as a huge step-change for Waxahatchee and the record is all the stronger for it.

70
American Songwriter
This more elusive, rootsy style suits Crutchfield well. It allows space to capture a clearer eyed vision of a life she’s still trying to balance, sort out and work through …just like the rest of us.
70
No Ripcord
The further you get, the sharper the writing becomes and the more introspective and unique the album feels.
60
The Observer

This album has a bloodied, ambitious heart on its sleeve. It wants the world to hear it beating.

40
The Needle Drop

Saint Cloud is an underwhelming take on indie country.

matteo
85
A healing record for hard times. Every masterfully chosen word, hell, every lilting, breaking, drawling syllable that escapes from Katie's lips is pure poetry. When the pandemic is over and you get to hug your friends again, it's going to feel like listening to this record.
Doublez
81
While it seems that she knew how to chase away the demons around her, Saint Cloud resembles her victory lap, both musically and personally. Waxahatchee's discography was already well worth the detour if you're a fervent fan of 90s music sprinkled with a layer and aesthetic of traditional American music, but in addition to having offered an effort of a much higher level Saint Cloud is her most poignant album, without the slightest hesitation.

If Saint Cloud is synonymous with renewal for Katie ... read more
MasterCrackfox
61
I've become more and more interested in Americana, folk, and especially the female singer-songwriter over the last few years. The vast majority of times an album that incorporates many if not all of these elements is sure to be a pleasing affair from my perspective and a solid win.

This album by Katie Crutchfield, otherwise known as Waxahatchee, does well in the pleasantness factor but doesn't quite achieve the win from my perspective.

One issue that I find with the album is a relative lack ... read more
laz456
70
Nice, easy listening- which isn't all that bad of a thing right now. But I can't praise this album too much, seeing as it's pretty run of the mill for indie and americana. I do vibe with some of these tracks but there's some duds in the track list for sure.
musicmagpie55
83
Katie Crutchfield releases a beautiful album with some of her most potent lyrics on the complicated relationship between love and loss. Each Waxahatchee record explores a slightly different melodic space. Where earlier records focused on lo-fi or alternative rock, Saint Cloud comfortably sits within the genre of Americana. Katie draws from artists like Neil Young (and a bit of Julia Jacklin's Crushing) more than ever while never losing her sharp perspective. For some reason, I find Saint Cloud ... read more
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Track List

  1. Oxbow
  2. Can’t Do Much
  3. Fire
  4. Lilacs
  5. The Eye
  6. Hell
  7. Witches
  8. War
  9. Arkadelphia
  10. Ruby Falls
  11. St. Cloud
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Added on: January 22, 2020