Courtney Marie Andrews: May Your Kindness Remain

review done courtney andrews x1 cong

Her previous albums have been noteworthy simply because she has a nice voice, and sometimes that’s all you need. This new one is deeper and slower, and while it takes more time to get used to — it’s not pop — it’s ultimately better.

In a coincidental echo of the Basil Athanasiadis album (see this page) she cites a Buddhist-themed inspiration, saying that a lot of people in America are dragged down by unattainable goals and are thus unhappy, sad, unfulfilled or even mentally unstable. She tackles this in the songs, as well as other topics: she told Rolling Stone that when she was growing up in Phoenix, she worked at a pizza shop next to the offices of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, the racist cop later pardoned by Donald Trump (for criminal contempt of court; Trump doesn’t really do law-abiding). The title says it all, but topics covered include migration and sympathy for others. Despite the anger and unhappiness tackled in the lyrics, the songs are gentle and slow.

Andrews’ voice is less to the fore, and the sound, while still country, is more blues and gospel. Her band makes the album as much as she does: Daniel Walter’s organ/accordion and Dillon Warneck on guitar add much, with a couple of gorgeous atmospheric guitar solos worthy of Neil Young, and some organ playing that explodes in the ear like little fireworks.

Fans of country and country-leaning rock should find much to like.


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