Courtney Marie Andrews: Old Flowers

review andrews x1 cong p17

This new album sees Andrews reflecting on a failed relationship, and the hurt caused has resulted in her best album to date.

We played some of her older albums this week and they’re nice but not much more than that; this new one is crisp and tight, and while the songs are not really any better, her delivery and the sound is. It’s a pared-down album, with instrumentation provided by Andrews and two other musicians – James Krivchenia on drums and Matthew Davidson on everything else.

The sound is somewhere between Jenny Lewis (Rilo Kyley, always a classy singer) and acoustic Neil Young, although always, thanks to her voice, more Lewis.

Opener Burlap String sets the tone well, slow and mournful but curiously enjoyable all the same. The string was for flowers “Tie ’em in burlap string / Tell you what you mean to me” she sings, lamenting “Some days are good, some are bad / Some days I want what we had”. Guilty sees added piano and Andrews reflecting on her lost love “I know I’d hurt you too / Get bored, find someone new.”

If I Told is about the start of a relationship, “It’s a full moon, LA / And we’re alone for the first time.” Well, you get the picture.

Andrews has published poetry and the lyrics, while maybe not poetry are poetic and descriptive. “I am sending you a postcard from the United States … When it soars across that pond and reaches your house / May it leave you with closure and a little less doubt” she sings in the final track, Ships in the Night. The album closes with her saying that while the relationship is over “I’m sending you my love, nothing more,” so the feelings are still there even if nothing else is.

It’s her best album and fans of mournful pop country should give it a listen. The sound doesn’t vary much and the story it tells is predictable but thanks to her voice and all those instruments played by Matthew Davidson, it is varied enough to be interesting. Try the slow-builder Carnival Dream or the title track.

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