Press "Enter" to skip to content

Every Waxahatchee Album Ranked Worst to Best

Katie Crutchfield grew up in Birmingham, Alabama near Waxahatchee Creek and cut her teeth as a young musician alongside her twin sister, Allison Crutchfield. In 2011, Katie decided to forge her own path and channel her energy completely into her solo project, Waxahatchee. Over 12 years, Katie Crutchfield has crafted an intensely personal discography–so personal that ranking them feels a near-impossible task. How do you rank your pleasure against your pain? Your youth against your obsolescence? Your desire to be loved against your desire to be utterly ignored? Well, let’s attempt to find out.

6. Ivy Tripp (2015)

Waxahatchee’s third studio album, “Ivy Tripp” is totally enjoyable and yet leaves something to be desired. The album feels a bit scattered and lacking in cohesion, with some choppy jumps between songs that take the listener out of the emotional ecosystems that Katie is so good at creating. In “Ivy Tripp,” Katie primarily sticks with her modus operandi of short-n-sweet songs, which tend to serve her well, but she also includes a few songs that surpass the four-minute mark. Ultimately, though, the extra length doesn’t accomplish much (take note, ladies and gents).

Play it again: “Air”
Skip it: “Stale By Noon”

5. Tigers Blood (2024)

Katie Crutchfield’s latest pursuit, “Tigers Blood” was released in late March and is being rightfully celebrated. This new release doubles down on the folksy genre shift that Katie introduced in 2020, showcasing sunny-yet-introspective songs that let the mind wander–but not wander so far as to stumble across a shadowy forest, dark pool, or dangerous cliff. While we can all appreciate that Katie is in a content place in her life and now makes music to reflect that, sometimes I still like a little shadowy forest with my mind wandering.

Play it again: “Right Back To It”
Skip it: “Crimes of the Heart”

4. Out in the Storm (2017)

“Out in the Storm” is a shattered mirror—it is sharp, it is honest, and it is sexy. Here, Katie pushes male egos back in their seats, expressing feminine rage so masterfully she almost convinces me of its existence. Not to mention the album features a female-heavy band including Allison Crutchfield and Katie Harkin. The songwriting is concise and bitter, unapologetically calling out some of the people who have wronged her. Give this one a listen when you work yourself up into a fit about the grotesque existence of pick-up artists or when some dude named Brian treats you like trash.

Play it again: “No Question”
Skip it: “Sparks Fly”

3. Saint Cloud (2020)

Released on March 27, 2020, “Saint Cloud” is Waxahatchee’s fifth studio album, which welcomed us into the warm (slightly feverish) arms of a global pandemic. In “Saint Cloud,” Katie shifts genres, leaving her indie and punk influence behind to embrace her folk and country roots from her Southern upbringing. In doing so, she shares a softer, sober side of herself. During a time when a lot of us were feeling fragile, this album was in the right place at the right time. It also prompted a distinct increase in googling of “Arkadelphia.”

Play it again: “Ruby Falls”
Skip it: “War”

2. American Weekend (2012)

Waxahatchee’s debut album, “American Weekend” is hot and heavy. The album encapsulates slow and stagnant summers, tormenting lusts, wet regret, and selfish indecisions. With most of the songs written in a week’s time, “American Weekend” features gut-wrenching and expert lyricism, setting Katie up for a successful career as a solo artist. And just like the title suggests, the album is peppered with sepia-toned Americana images–from static TVs, beer, and cigarettes to cul-de-sacs, lawns, and grass stains. While American Weekend’s lo-fi vibe does feel a little bare bones, Katie’s expressive voice and raw writing really give us so much to chew on.

Play it again: “Bathtub”
Skip it: “Luminary Blake”

1. Cerulean Salt (2013)

Katie Crutchfield not only avoids the sophomore slump with her second album but kicks the idea of one right in the teeth. “Cerulean Salt” is an absolutely stellar combination of intimate vocals and whispered poems with strong-yet-hazy guitar. Katie’s songwriting feels like an invitation to join her in the everyday reckoning of existentialism, which sure is enticing with so many existential crises at our doorsteps. And even when there’s no heaven or hell and nothing matters, Katie still finds a way to make listening to her songs feel sacred.

Play it again: “Peace and Quiet”
Skip it: “Waiting”