Courtney Marie Andrews new album: May Your Kindness Remain
written by Ben Salmon | photo by Laura E. Partain
Courtney Marie Andrews calls her 2016 album, Honest Life, a “quiet, introspective songwriter record.” Nonetheless, it made a big splash, racking up glowing reviews, landing in Rolling Stone’s list of that year’s best country albums and raising the Seattle-based troubadour’s profile around the world.
When it came time to make a follow-up, Andrews decided to stretch a bit. The result is May Your Kindness Remain, a gorgeous collection of ten tracks that features fuller arrangements and more roots-rock ’n’ soul to go with Andrews’ marvelous voice, mellow twang and melancholy story-songs.
This time, those stories are more outward-looking, Andrews said, with a special focus on regular folks struggling to cope with common demons and unattainable standards of success. It’s a story Andrews—who left her Arizona home at age 16—knows all too well.
“Our job as songwriters is to empathize with the world. It’s hard not to let everything that is happening impact my writing in some way,” Andrews said. “Rural poverty, mental illness and delusions of grandeur are stories that have impacted me my whole life. It all just came to a head on this record.”
Andrews made May Your Kindness Remain in a house overlooking Los Angeles, where recording felt “intuitive” and the music ebbed and flowed with the rhythms of Earth.
“It was symbolic in a way. … You could point out the ‘good’ and ‘bad’ parts of town and wonder why the two don’t interact,” she said. “At night, when the sun came down over the hill and all was calm, we’d record the ballads. During the day, we’d open all the doors and (do) the more rockin’ tracks. It was natural.”