Tastemakers: What's Guardian and Q journalist Laura Barton listening to?

Tastemakers: What's Guardian and Q journalist Laura Barton listening to?

Guardian and Q journalist Laura Barton on Courtney Marie Andrews’ May Your Kindness Remain

I spent much of last year listening to the same two tracks from Courtney Marie Andrews’ Honest Life on repeat (Table For One and Put the Fire Out, if you’re interested). She hits a kind of sweet spot for me - a tone that’s between road-weary and restless, and a lyrical style that is tough, tender and maybe a little lost.

Her new album is released on Loose this spring, and where the last record seemed plaintive and solitary, the new one is steadier, deeper - its soulfulness in part attributable to Mark Howard’s production, a surge of church organ, and gospel singer’s CC White’s backing vocals. Andrews seems to take up the challenge - her voice richer than before, less isolated, as if stretching out toward the music.

And there’s a shift in the subject matter too - this is a more congregational record, concerned with our modern measures of success, our care for one another, and the state of our collective wellbeing. There’s nothing new really in Andrews’ music - no great reinventions, no genre-hopping or mould-breaking. There are shades of Emmylou Harris and Joni Mitchell, a troubador style that might recall Jackson C Frank or Lucinda Williams. But there’s something exceptional about her delivery. Something timeless and measured and true. 

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