Home > News & Reviews > Courtney Marie Andrews

Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain (Album Review)

Thursday, 29 March 2018 Written by Simon Ramsay

Photo: Laura E. Partain  

During the early part of her career, Courtney Marie Andrews released a string of under the radar folk albums. If those formative LPs were her caterpillar phase, then 2016’s ‘Honest Life’ began an artistic metamorphosis that’s culminated in ‘May Your Kindness Remain’, a soulful, gospel-tinted record where she’s blossomed into a butterfly.

What’s immediately impressive about this release is the 27-year-old’s refusal to rest on her Laurel Canyon stylings. Instead, she’s fashioned a follow up that, by going in a different direction to the Joni Mitchell-meets-Emmylou Harris sound of its predecessor, marks her out as an artist with a widescreen vision.

Moving on from the acoustic bent of ‘Honest Life’, this album presents modern Americana textures that, buoyed by electric guitar, organ, piano, pedal steel, bass and drums, incorporate blues, rock ‘n’ roll and country alongside southern gospel.

Yet this isn’t evolution for evolution’s sake. It’s all in service to a thematic spine that focuses on ordinary Joes who, having been raised to believe the American dream will deliver fame and fortune, end up battling constant hardships that result in depression and alienation.

From the melodious pop of Kindness of Strangers and laid back Tom Petty grooves on Two Nights in Buffalo, where the economic plight of small towns is painted with wonderful frost-bitten imagery, to Lift The Lonely From My Heart’s vivid account of mental illness, Andrews’ tasteful instrumentation paints America’s crumbling social fabric across a larger canvas while depicting the impact on people with confessional intimacy.

Andrews never explicitly lashes out or points fingers. She’s more interested in how people are affected by socio-political problems and, by telling their stories, allows blame to reside in the subtext. Border finds a desperate immigrant being smuggled into America by a coyote. When she sings “there is always a reason, a story to tell, but you cannot measure a man until you’ve been down the deepest well” it’s impossible not to think about the divisiveness stirred up by a certain wall-building politician.

Although the likes of Took You Up suggest human connection can help deal with such adversity, these songs swerve hippy idealism because Andrews never shies away from reality. She’s not suggesting her answers are a panacea, merely ways to make those universally common situations more bearable. It’s something that’s gifted unimpeachable veracity by her sublime singing.

There’s a healing beauty to Andrews’ tone; a sense of warm compassion, dignified resilience and unbreakable spirit in the face of despondency.  ‘Honest Life’ exhibited her skill as a classic folk crooner, but by adopting a more powerful, and fittingly soulful, delivery on this record her voice, whether creating a diaristic closeness on Rough Around The Edges or belting out the title track’s climactic gospel plea, feels like a light in the darkness.  

Andrews may have previously been dubbed ‘the best songwriter you’ve never heard of’, but if its predecessor began erasing that tag then ‘May Your Kindness Remain’, which oozes confidence and class, will surely render such a line utterly redundant.

Courtney Marie Andrews Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Wed April 18 2018 - LEEDS Brudenell Social Club
Thu April 19 2018 - EDINBURGH Summerhall
Fri April 20 2018 - DUBLIN Whelans
Sat April 21 2018 - LIVERPOOL Arts Club Liverpool
Sun April 22 2018 - MANCHESTER Gorilla
Mon April 23 2018 - BRIGHTON Komedia
Tue April 24 2018 - LONDON Islington Assembly Hall

Click here to compare & buy Courtney Marie Andrews Tickets at Stereoboard.com.





Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!




Related News

Courtney Marie Andrews Celebrates Sisterhood And Motherhood With Video For New Single Heart And Mind
Mon 10 Sep 2018
Courtney Marie Andrews has released a video for her new single, Heart And Mind.
Courtney Marie Andrews Lines Up December UK Shows
Mon 11 Jun 2018
Courtney Marie Andrews has lined up a UK tour.
Courtney Marie Andrews Releases Video For Took You Up
Wed 18 Apr 2018
Courtney Marie Andrews has released a video for Took You Up.
Nice Electricity: Inside Jawbone's Sizzling Old School Debut
Wed 14 Nov 2018
Photo: Rob Blackham Sometimes an album arrives from out of nowhere and knocks you off your feet. There’s something new, yet familiar, about its melodies, its heart-warming immediacy and the effortless chemistry that oozes from the bewitching songs within. We’re basically talking the musical equivalent of love at first sight, which is exactly what fans of bluesy rock ‘n’ roll and American roots music will doubtless feel after hearing Jawbone’s quietly magnificent self-titled bow.
Boygenius - Boygenius (Album Review)
Tue 13 Nov 2018
Photo: Lera Pentelute Supergroup is a big, ugly label. It’s reductive, and it ramps up the pressure on what is always a new endeavour—even if the players are seasoned pros. Friction is naturally created by expectations rubbing up against the mechanics of making music in a fresh formation, often leading to overhyped records that feel like a tired exhalation of breath from their first note.
'We Wanted To Reach People on a Personal Level': Pijn Discuss The Genre-Defying Power Of 'Loss'
Mon 12 Nov 2018
A striking development in the past decade or so has been the extent to which people discover music through mood as opposed to genre. Streaming services have adapted to perceived consumer demand by releasing reams of playlists tailored to every emotion or context imaginable, from deeply depressed to “songs to sing to in the car”. This has its upsides and downsides for a band like Pijn.
Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers - Bought To Rot (Album Review)
Thu 22 Nov 2018
‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! Record. Repeat: ‘Bought To Rot’ is not an Against Me! record. Laura Jane Grace might be among friends on her first album with the Devouring Mothers—the roll call does feature drummer Atom Willard and engineer Marc Jacob Hudson, both holdovers from her day job—but the focus is very different.
Mick Jenkins - Pieces Of A Man (Album Review)
Tue 20 Nov 2018
Mick Jenkins was riding the crest of a wave when his breakout mixtape 'The Water[s]' dropped in the summer of 2014. Talented heads like Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, Noname and Saba would all go on to emerge from the same bubbling Chicago hip-hop scene, but Jenkins had positioned himself in critics' minds as the moody and technically gifted older brother. He already appeared fully formed in an artistic sense, framing highly conceptual songwriting with jazz-influenced verses and a raspy vocal delivery.
 
< Prev   Next >