Album review: Courtney Marie Andrews

Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness Remain (Loose)

Courtney Marie Andrews.

Courtney Marie Andrews.

TO QUOTE The Smiths' 'Sheila Take A Bow', "How can someone so young/Sing words so sad?" Courtney Marie Andrews sings like a women who has lived for twice as long, and experienced twice as much, as any 28-year-old.

Touring rural and rustbelt America, Andrews has seen how the American Dream is operating, not as a promise of hope, but as an elusive entity, becoming an impossible goal for people and communities being left behind, leaving sadness, depression, and unfulfillment in its wake. "It's that American Dream dying, I hear the whispers of each ghost," she sings in 'Two Cold Nights In Buffalo'.

Such devastation has led, politically, to the Trumpian response of bitterness, anger, xenophobia, and jingoism - an appeal to base emotions - but Andrews' songs on May Your Kindness Remain, offer an alternative response, based in empathy ('Kindness Of Strangers' ), solidarity and community (the aforementioned 'Two Cold Nights In Buffalo' ), friendship and compassion (the title track ) - higher, humane emotions - through songs rich in observational detail, story, and character portraits.

The album is steeped in roots, Americana, and country, with clear echoes of Emmylou Harris, and a strong soul music slant ('Long Road Back To You' ). Andrews is also possessed of a magnificent voice, one that can switch between power and intimacy with ease. A major new talent in Americana has arrived. (by the way, no, we're not related ).



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