“Lilacs” is the second single we’ve heard from Saint Cloud, following “Fire”. In combination, the two tracks point towards a more confident direction for Waxahatchee, especially compared to the buoyant but slightly guarded words of her 2018 EP Great Thunder and her 2017 full-length Out in the Storm.
According to Waxahatchee, “Lilacs” is about sliding back into old, bad behaviors. “I think that when people are in that mindset they can really try to turn the blame onto other people, so the song sort of plays out like a conflict you’d have with someone you love,” she said in a press release. “It’s meant to capture that moment of heat that happens right when you realize you’re wrong or that your issue is more with yourself than with someone else — being flawed and fragile but making progress inch by inch. The chorus serves as a sweet little resolve. I wanted it to feel like the light at the end of the tunnel and the reminder that it can always and often does get better.”
In the song’s music video, directed by Ashley Connor, we see dancer Marlee Grace morphing her way through jagged everyday dance moves in a worn-down warehouse. She waltzes to a sea of chairs and lays across them, saunters into an open ballroom to leap around, and, eventually, makes her way outside into the sunlight to feel at ease. It’s timed perfectly with “Lilacs” itself to match the song’s lyrics. Watch it below.