COURTNEY MARIE ANDREWS – MAY YOUR KINDNESS REMAIN (ALBUM REVIEW)

Since the age of seventeen, Courtney Marie Andrews has spent her years battling the challenges of the industry; perfecting her impeccable musical talents and defying old fashioned gender norms. Andrews recently discussed her background performing with more than thirty bands with the Telegraph’s Neil McCormick, claiming that men would approach her after shows with an “immediate assumption that you couldn’t possibly know what you’re doing, because you’re a woman.”

Now, the Arizona-born singer-songwriter is continuing her streak of mesmerising country-pop with her brand new full-length record May Your Kindness Remain, released on March 23rd via Fat Possum Records. Featuring ten impressive tracks that address the impact of idealistic success and the modern American dream, the album ranges from country-esque masterpieces to folk-tinted tracks that occupy the middle ground between Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell.

Opening with its title track, the album perfectly showcases the singer’s remarkable vocal range, backing ‘May Your Kindness Remain’ with roaring guitars and a slow and pounding drum beat. ‘Lift the Lonely from My Heart’ is a nostalgia-powered tale haunted by ghosts of the 1970s, while ‘Two Cold Nights in Buffalo’ takes the form of an outstanding country anthem, paving the way for the rich melodies of ‘Rough Around the Edges’. One of the most emotional tracks on the album (there’s a barefaced comparison to Whitney Houston here) it quickly places Andrews in the running as one of the greatest American singer-songwriters of the last few years.

‘Border’ begins to incorporate jazzier elements to the record with this soulful number and Andrews’ vocals bear a strong resemblance to Civil Wars’ Joy Williams, before another tearjerker by the name of ‘Took You Up’ takes centre stage.

Needless to say, the record is undoubtedly an acquired taste for those familiar with traditional singer-songwriter genres. However, fortunately for the Carrie Underwood and Michelle Branch fans more inclined towards the mainstream, pop-heavy country tracks, single release ‘Kindness of Strangers’ blends electric guitars with a subtle piano and harmonious vocal work, while album closer ‘Long Road Back to You’ builds gradually into a traditional and heartfelt country ballad. It may have taken a decade for the world to fully recognise the remarkable talents of this particular starlet, but Andrews remains yet to disappoint.

May Your Kindness Remain is out on March 23rd via Loose Music.