Posts Tagged ‘Courtney Marie Andrews’

Old flowers

On her third album for both Fat Possum and Loose Records, Courtney Marie Andrews has pulled in to one package all the songwriting skill, vocal prowess, and musicianship displayed on previous albums, into one career defining statement. A break-up record for sure, though due to Courtney’s extraordinary storytelling gifts, more of a modern day
coming-of-age tale of love won, love sustained, and unfortunately, love’s inevitable dissolution.

You can’t water old flowers. Yes, you fall in love, you make mistakes, and so do they. You run through blackberry fields in the summer of your youth, dream in passenger seats gazing past towns and fields, imagining a future life where everything works out. I fell head over heels in love at nineteen. The kind of love where you call up your best friend and say, “I think I’ve found my soulmate.” The pull towards that first true love is strong. It consumes you, makes you question your own dreams.

We taught each other, grew up together, we were family. We fit just right, for a time. Then one day, after a long and rocky nine year road, life changed and became a complicated mess too hard to untangle. We couldn’t get our love back, no matter how many dreams that shadowed this hard truth. We grew resentful, selfish, harbouring past mistakes and holding them up like armour from every blow. We grew up and our paths diverted.

On New Year’s Day, 2018, a great horned owl dropped dead at my exes’ feet in my mother’s yard. It felt like a daunting omen, ushering on change for the both of us. We were distraught. We couldn’t afford the taxidermy, so we placed it in a big blue plastic garbage bin. Now it felt so cheap, that mystic creature in a plastic coffin. That’s how love feels sometimes – like we don’t serve it the ending it deserves.

The omen was true. That year, I started to see the woman I could be, the woman I wasn’t yet. Anytime I felt like myself, I was alone and wandering, and I knew that was a sign that it was time for change. New Year’s Day 2019, I said goodbye to my first true love and moved across the country. Losing someone you spend every day for nearly a decade with is intense. We talked in our dreams. I knew where he was, even before I entered a place. He’d always be there if I had a feeling. Humans are connected in unexplainable ways.

I was writing a lot after we broke up as a healing technique, preserving each memory like an emotional archaeologist. Late one night, I woke up from a dream where I was searching for him, my ex, at a carnival. It was so vivid. I woke myself up to write a song on my piano. The next morning, he reached out to me for the first time in months. We went out, had a drink, caught up, and he told me that the hardest part about our separation was a reoccurring nightmare where he searched for me at a carnival. In that moment, I knew, humans have ways of connecting beyond words and touch. I truly believe that. We had the same dream, without seeing each other for months.

Even with all the mystic symbolism that year presented, this is an age-old story I can’t make up. We fall in love, we grow up, we change, and they don’t change with us. ‘Old Flowers’ is about heartbreak. There are a million records and songs about that, but I did not lie when writing these songs. This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with. It’s about being afraid to be vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. It’s about a woman who is alone, but okay with that, if it means truth.

This was my truth this year – my nine year relationship ended, and I’m a woman alone in the world, but happy to know herself.

These songs came to me alone, late nights in Bisbee, Lisbon, Nashville, and London. Sometimes I’d just cry and sing, and a song would come out. I drank too much wine while writing this record, lit too many candles. You could say this was my attempt to summon the muse, but that’s bullshit, because she was just standing there naked looking me in the eyes. So I told her the truth.

This is my story of the most heartbreaking, but soul-revealing, year of my life. I drove myself mad. I drove to the smoky mountains just to drive back. I danced with a Portuguese boxer and cried on his shoulder in a Fado cafe. I did everything an artist is “supposed to do.” But at the end of the day, beyond all the romance, these songs are my truth. I think they might be yours too.

Courtney Marie Andrews

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Big-hearted Americana singer/songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews has announced her next album. “Old Flowers”, a follow-up to 2018’s May Your Kindness Remain (one of our favourite releases from that year), is set to arrive June 5th on Mississippi indie powerhouse Fat Possum Records. “I learned to love the worst parts of you,” Andrews sings on “If I Told.” It’s a Dolly Parton-esque country song tinged with regret and curiosity in regards to the serendipity of relationships.

“These songs came to me alone, late nights in Bisbee, Lisbon, Nashville, and London. Sometimes I’d just cry and sing, and a song would come out. I drank too much wine while writing this record, lit too many candles. You could say this was my attempt to summon the muse, but she was just standing there naked looking me in the eyes. So I told her the truth.

“This is my story of the most heartbreaking, but soul-revealing, year of my life. I drove myself mad. I drove to the smoky mountains just to drive back. I danced with a Portuguese boxer and cried on his shoulder in a Fado cafe. I did everything an artist is ‘supposed to do’. But at the end of the day, beyond all the romance, these songs are my truth. I think they might be yours too.”

With tears of joy, I am here to announce, my new album, ‘Old Flowers,’ will be released on June 5th. In these songs, I am grappling with saying goodbye to a nine-year relationship. I am voyaging closer to myself and to my work. I am vulnerable as hell, and it’s scary as hell. Love, CMA

P.S. I’ll be returning to the UK to play these new songs this June, as well as two album release shows in Brooklyn and Nashville. All the new dates are below and you can find more info at courtneymarieandrews.com. I can’t wait to sing these with you.

May 6—Manchester Center, VT—Billsville
June 5—Nashville, TN—Analog
June 9—Brooklyn, NY—Union Pool
June 16—Birmingham, U.K.—Hare & Hounds
June 17—Pocklington, U.K.—Pocklington Arts Centre
June 18—London, U.K.—Omeara
June 21—Nottingham, U.K.—Metronome
June 22—Oxford, U.K.—Wesley Memorial Church

Deer Tick guitarist/vocalist John McCauley unveiled a studio version of Courtney Marie Andrews‘ “Rough Around The Edges.” Andrews returned the favor by sharing her take on McCauley’s “Goodbye, Dear Friend.”

Courtney Marie Andrews is currently on tour as support for Deer Tick. Last Tuesday, Andrews joined Deer Tick for a cover of Jennifer Warnes & Joe Cocker’s “Up Where We Belong.” Courtney originally recorded “Rough Around The Edges” for her 2018 studio album May Your Kindness Remain, while Deer Tick’s original “Goodbye, Dear Friend” can be found on 2010’s The Black Dirt Sessions.

Courtney Marie Andrews‘ acoustic cover of Deer Tick’s song, “Goodbye, Dear Friend”.

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Released May 2nd, 2019
Performed by Courtney Marie Andrews.
Written by John J. McCauley III.

‘May Your Kindness Remain’ is a year old today. It has been a magical and wild journey of a year. Thank you to all who’ve been a part of it.

After a decade spent at the height of the music industry, touring solo and with large pop bands, she realized her desire for a place to come home to. She found that in a small rural town in the deep forests of Washington State. There, she posted up at a local bar, slinging drinks, basking in the simplicity and reflection it allowed.

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Thank you to Rolling Stone magazine for naming my song “May Your Kindness Remain” the number one country/americana song of the year. I write music with the intention of connecting with myself and others through words and feelings, and I’m so happy to know this song has resonated with so many folks this year.

releases May 17th, 2019

This is Courtney Marie Andrews‘ fourth record, “No One’s Slate is Clean.”
released December 6th, 2010, It’s near Impossible to pick a favorite track. This albums is stellar from start to finish. Do yourself a favor and listen to this album. Each song flows into the next in a logical, touching way, and there’s a large-scale building to (what I feel is) a climax.  a perfect snapshot of an age full of imperfections. Incredibly beautiful melodies, pro arrangements, and raw honesty – the marriage of simple things that birth complex emotions.

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All songs written and performed by Courtney Marie Andrews.

Courtney Marie Andrews: acoustic guitars, electric guitars, vocals, vocal harmonies, synth, string arrangements for, “Canals of Amsterdam” and “Songs for Tourists.”

Ethan McCracken: electric guitars, synth, vocal harmonies on, “Bumper in the Hail,” and string arrangements for “Canals of Amsterdam” and “Songs for Tourists.”

Tim Mechling: piano, rhodes, organ, and string arrangements for “Unbalanced Suns.”

Alex Stoops Sabel: bass

Luke Knezevich: drums, percussion

Additional Musicians:
Chris Testa: percussion
Patrick Austin: violin
Jared MacFarlane: violin
Clifton P. Antoine: viola
Brad Hawkins: cello

Courtney Marie Andrews, May Your Kindness Remain

The layers of singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews’ May Your Kindness Remain are vast as the music is enchanting. Her sixth record is easy to fall for, with her dusky soprano rising atop an easy-going, yet sultry band. Her groove is reminiscent of Linda Ronstadt, particularly with the way she slides around the spectrum of Americana: country, folk, gospel and something else you can’t quite put your finger on. Lyrically, Andrews is in touch with her own loneliness, kindness and empathy and that shines through songs like “I’ve Hurt Worse,” “May Your Kindness Remain” and “Two Cold Nights in Buffalo.” The inspiration for these songs came from meeting people on her tours and realizing that everyone is suffering from the same types of sadness. May Your Kindness Remain is an accurate, passionate account of facing problems directly and dealing with depression head-on.

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The official music video for Courtney Marie Andrews’ song, “Took You Up,” off her new album, May Your Kindness Remain, premiered at The Independent who stated, “The Americana songwriter shows that true love survives through the tough times in her latest visual,” and goes on to praise, “…finds her with an even keener eye for storytelling.” The video was directed by Giraffe Studios LA.

Courtney Marie AndrewsTook You Up From ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ – Available from Fat Possum Records / Mama Bird Recording Co.

Courtney Marie Andrews’ debuted songs from her acclaimed new album, “May Your Kindness Remain”, on CBS TV This Morning” as part of their “Saturday Sessions” series.

Watch the performances here: “Kindness Of Strangers,” “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo” and “May Your Kindness Remain.”

 

Singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews left her home to focus on music at just 16 years old. Her 2016 album “Honest Life” was a breakout hit and a fixture on many lists for album of the year. Her latest collection, “May Your Kindness Remain,” was released last week.

Two of the 10 songs from the new album Courtney Marie Andrews “May Your Kindness Remain”,  astonishingly beautiful new album, have the word kindness in the title. This is not a coincidence. The idea of kindness of empathy, of giving unto others, of needing the same from others — is as central to Andrews’ music  Even when it’s not what she’s singing about, it’s what she’s singing about.

One song on May Your Kindness Remain is about an old, broken-down, permanently messy house and about the couple who used to live there. It’s clear that they’re not still together — “There’s a bed upstairs if you’re ever in town / Or if you need a place to get your feet back on the ground” — but there’s still a fondness, a feeling of togetherness. She sings that the house is their home, that it belongs to both of them, and it feels like a powerful act of generosity, a gift of a song. It’s about how that warmth can outlast the end of a relationship. It’s just lovely.

There are some staggering love songs on May Your Kindness Remain, and there are also songs about needing love, about requiring that sort of empathy. “Lift The Lonely From My Heart” is about depression, about needing someone else’s help to get through it: “Pining, mining for a feeling I’m not finding / Looking to you to tell me what I’m worth.” And then there’s a song like “I’ve Hurt Worse” about knowing that empathy is not coming back to you: “I like you when I have to call you a second time / It keeps me wondering if you are mine / Mother says you love who you think you deserve / But I’ve hurt worse.” Andrews herself calls it a sarcastic song, but I hear a note of longing in there, of self-recrimination. Andrews is working within a country-music tradition that’s long prized a brassy toughness, but even at her hardest, that’s not really what she’s about. And that, in its way, is why a song like that cuts even deeper.

The empathy extends, too, to people beyond Andrews’ relationships, to people she might not know. “Two Cold Nights In Buffalo” is a song about getting stranded in an edge-of-oblivion upstate New York town, taking in all the misery around you, and wondering how shit ever got this bad. It gets a little on-the-nose when Andrews starts wondering how this place ever got this bad — “Is that the American dream dying?” — but it hits hard when she takes in the individual scenes of misery, extrapolating from a glance: “A snowy prison out on Main Street, heaters hang from the cells / A bum searches for shelter, so cold he dreams of hell.” And on “Border Song” she imagines the life of a Mexican immigrant trying to get through the desert, dreaming of a better life that’s still a hell of a lot harder than what most of the people reading this website will ever have to endure: “Stand outside that hardware store / Don’t matter the job they need me for.”

Courtney Marie Andrews’ music isn’t country the way “country” is commonly understood now. It’s country the same way that, for instance, the Black Keys’ music is metal, which is to say that it’s something that could’ve been called country in 1971 even if the tag no longer applies. Her voice has a deep twang, the kind that sticks to you. Her voice is huge, warm, expressive. She’s not a soul singer, but she’s got that soul-singer balance of fire and control, the two elements working together rather than against each other. Occasionally, when she’s really cutting loose, she gets some gospel in her voice. The album has some hazy psychedelic tremolo guitar and some sweaty blues-rock organ. She’s an Americana singer, I guess, but she doesn’t have the sleepy reverence that I (maybe wrongly) tend to associate with Americana singers. Her music is heavy and direct and alive.

Andrews is only 27, but she’s already a veteran. She released her first album when she was a teenager, and she’s been steadily cranking out music for about a decade while moving from Arizona to Seattle to Los Angeles. For a while, she was touring as a keyboardist and a backup singer for Jimmy Eat World. And for a while after that, she was bartending whenever she wasn’t touring. That changed in 2016 with the release of Honest Life, the album that finally got her noticed by the kinds of people who notice really good Americana albums. (I still slept on it.) If Honest Life was Andrews’ break, then May Your Kindness Remain is her big reach.

The new album belongs absolutely to Andrews. She sang and played guitar on every song, and she wrote all of them except for the one she co-wrote with a couple of dudes. She also co-produced it with Mark Howard, a veteran studio type who’s been doing mixing and engineering for people like Bob Dylan and Tom Waits for many years. It’s not a huge leap beyond Honest Life, but it’s got the exact right level of musical lushness. Andrews’ voice dominates, but it doesn’t overpower, and the arrangements shimmer like mirages around her. And for someone like me, someone who’s been shamefully ignorant of all the music that Andrews has been making for all these years, it’s a head-spinning discovery, a warm and gorgeous and fully formed piece of work. The kindness isn’t just in the lyrics. It’s in the way music like this can nourish you, can make your insides glow. An album like this can be a refuge.

May Your Kindness Remain is out on 23rd March on Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recordings.

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thanks to Stereogum

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Kindness of Strangers is the second song unveiled from the new Courtney Marie Andrews’ much anticipated full-length album, “May Your Kindness Remain”, which will be released March 23rd on the ever reliable Loose Records in the UK and elsewhere via Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recording Co.

The new track takes a confident step away from the straight ahead, classic country/folk route to take in a little gospel, some church organ and even a little soul. It locks into a sweet groove whilst her incredible vocals remain centre stage and more than justifies the buzz that is building around her.

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