Courtney Marie Andrews – May Your Kindness Remain

Andrews’ fine folk songwriting is elevated to effortless Americana.

Courtney Marie Andrews - May Your Kindness RemainLabel: Loose
Released: 23rd March 2018
Rating: ★★★

“Is that American dream dying?” Courtney Marie Andrews asks on ‘Two Cold Nights in Buffalo’. Where last year ‘Honest Life’ was largely informed by the barstool stories Andrews picked up working in a Brussels bar, the songs on ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ belong much closer to home.

Across ten songs, Andrews ruminates on the disintegration of the American middle class as seen through her own eyes touring the country over the past year. Rather than snarl at the administration, she calls for community and civility through Springsteen-style tales of overcoming everyman struggles.

Andrews delivers her message via a reverential study of American folk and country music, with organs flaring up at all the right moments, trademark harmonies and famous U.S. cities expertly name-dropped. Alex Turner is the only person who could make Rotherham sound cool, but Buffalo, New Jersey? Easy.

With the help of Dylan producer Mark Howard and a pitch-perfect session band, Andrews’ fine folk songwriting is elevated to effortless Americana. While it doesn’t reinvent the wheel, ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ displays remarkable pathos and masterful musicianship that makes these brand new songs feel like old friends. ‘I’ve Hurt Worse’ is straight from the Bob Dylan songwriting wheelhouse, while ‘Two Cold Nights in Buffalo’ hits all the Americana sweet spots, culminating in one of the most soulful songs you’ll hear this year.

Having left her days as a backing singer firmly behind her, ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ finds Courtney Marie Andrews stepping out more confidently than ever and serving up classic country with a modern message. Dillon Eastoe