Now Listening: Waxahatchee Covers Dolly, Lucinda, and Springsteen

A surprise new deluxe version of the Alabama native’s splendid Saint Cloud offers three new tracks you won’t want to miss

Photo: Johnny Eastlund

Whether livestreaming concerts from the couch on Friday nights or seeking new tunes to buoy our work-from-home blues, many of us have turned to music for some much-needed salve over the past year. Alabama native Katie Crutchfield—known as Waxahatchee, after the creek near her home in Birmingham—certainly provided some of that relief with her excellent album Saint Cloud, released on March 27 of last year. Marrying the fierce vocal power and poetic lyrics of her grungier previous work with a decidedly more country-influenced sound, the album revealed the then-thirty-one-year-old songwriter at the top of her game with such standouts as “Can’t Do Much,” which she describes as an “unsentimental love song,” and “Lilacs,” a melodious number about co-dependence, setbacks, and the ongoing task of caring for yourself.

This week, Crutchfield celebrated the album’s first birthday with a deluxe version, Saint Cloud +3, that includes three must-hear cover songs: Lucinda Williams’s “Fruits of My Labor,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Streets of Philadelphia,” and Dolly Parton’s “Light of a Clear Blue Morning.” “We tracked Lucinda’s ‘Fruits of My Labor’ while in the studio making [Saint Cloud], and tracked the Dolly and Springsteen covers a few months back just for fun,” she said on Twitter

The new additions are a welcome excuse to dig back into the originals on Saint Cloud, but they also deliver a timely message. “Everything’s gonna be alright. It’s gonna be okay,” Crutchfield sings in the chorus of the Parton classic, and when you hear the track’s vocal harmonies, understated piano, and Crutchfield’s singular expressive voice, it’s hard not to believe it. Listen to “Fruits of My Labor” above and “Light of a Clear Blue Morning” below. For more from Crutchfield, stream the album in full on Spotify or buy it via Amazon.