I first came across the music of Courtney Marie Andrews early last year when Leigh from Just Music I Like Blog (R.I.P – the blog, not Leigh) recommended her Honest Life album to me. If I remember correctly Leigh had bought the vinyl in Resident Music in Brighton simply because he liked the very sixties styled cover and the write up that was posted with the record in the shop. Upon listening, I found I enjoyed the songs but as a complete album it didn’t blow me away. Perhaps Andrews’ acoustic country sounds, whilst lovely, were just a bit too samey over the course of a whole record for me.
However, the title track from Andrews’ forthcoming long-player May Your Kindness Remain, which premiered on NPR Music today, is a revelation and leads me to completely reappraise her work. For this is stunning. Here Andrews steps out beyond just simple country music to something bigger, bolder, warmer and more soulful. It reminds me in places of ex-Lone Justice lead singer Maria McKee’s more mellow songs on her solo self-titled album, particularly with the touches of bombastic gospel that punctuate the latter part of the song (or maybe it’s just because she sings of ‘a good heart’ – the tune that McKee wrote and Undertones man Feargal Sharkey had a UK no.1 with)
In a world that seems harsher and ever more judgemental than before, Andrews takes a step back with this piece of powerful beauty and offers a simple antidote to the subject of her song: “If your money runs out and your good looks fade, may your kindness remain.” She’s right of course. Being nice to people is actually far more important and will make you much more content than what culture tends to push down our throats as 'success', namely monetary gain, physical perfection and attaining status.
Courtney Marie Andrews plays a handful of shows in the UK in a few weeks time (Glasgow on the 31st Jan, Oxford 3rd Feb and a 2 tiny pub shows in Guildford (one of which is a matinee show and still has a handful of tickets left), then heads over to the US before returning to the UK in April for a larger tour. The album May Your Kindness Remain is due March 23rd and can be pre-ordered from her Bandcamp by clicking here.
Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain