Courtney Marie Andrews is a poignant Americana-folk singer-songwriter well beyond her years. She blows you away from the very first listen. This album follows previous collections No One’s Slate is Clean, On My Page, Honest Life and May Your Kindness Remain, and each assemblage of unapologetic truths get better and better. Old Flowers, released via Fat Possum Records and produced by Andrew Sarlo, is layered with honesty through homespun lyrics that set her so far from the ordinary. The whole album features three musicians: Big Thief’s James Krivchenia, Matthew Davidson and Andrews herself.
Andrews shared, “Old Flowers is about heartbreak. There are a million records and songs about that, but I did not lie when writing these songs. This album is about loving and caring for the person you know you can’t be with. It’s about being afraid to be vulnerable after you’ve been hurt. It’s about a woman who is alone, but okay with that, if it means truth. This was my truth this year — my nine-year relationship ended and I’m a woman alone in the world, but happy to know herself.”
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Two more days until ‘Old Flowers’ is out. ❤️❤️❤️ For “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault,” I wanna tell you about the small group of musicians on this record. At the beginning of 2019, I wanted to try out a few producers to test out who would best fit these songs. After only one session with @sarloson, I knew he had the keen empathy and magic to produce this very personal record. He was very in tune with the vision. We both agreed the record needed to be soft and intimate, so we decided to only take two musicians on board as the band. One of those players is one of my favorite musicians in the whole world, @twainband He is a big part of this record, and recording with him is inspiring. Then, Sarlo suggested we bring @james_krivchenia on board to play drums, but James ended up adding so much more. Playing with these two in a room was pure inspiration and magic. Every take was its own, a journey into possibility. Nothing felt regimented or sterile. It felt like throwing paint on canvas, no sound off limits. I couldn’t have made this record without them❤️ Also, thank you to @brandenstroup for assistant engineering. ❤️ 📸@kendallrock
Old Flowers is Andrews’ latest intricate display of love and heartbreak and the album’s opener, “Burlap String,” tells the story of past love and regret of not pursuing this one a little further. “If I Told,” the album’s preceding single, is a vulnerable tale of a night on Venice Beach.
“Tell me your dreams and I’ll tell you mine // What would you say, if I told you // You’re my last thought at the end of each night,” Andrews sings, her voice sounding like a distant transmission from across the ocean. “Would you believe me, or would you even reply?”
“It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault” shows a little upbeat instrumentation through the collection of of ballads on the album as she sings, “No, I cannot be to blame for the story of this pain // Oh, it must be someone else’s fault.” Slow-burning, piano ballad “How You Get Hurt” displays the tenderness and loneliness in Andrews’ melancholy-stained vocals. “Ships In The Night” is structured in the form of a letter to an ex hoping that he moves past grievances and finds somebody else to love.
The singer-songwriter has been sharing stories behind each track on her Instagram page, most noticeably her track “Guilty,” for which she shares, “I wrote this on a friend’s piano in L.A. (love you @susy.storm). Growing up in Arizona, I was always drawn to California, because it had the ocean! When I return, I always have a childlike feeling of inspiration. While recording ‘Guilty,’ the sun had completely gone down over the L.A skyline, and it was getting really late. My voice was so worn from singing all day, so I sang the take that made the record while lying on the floor, cradling the mic in my hands as Mat played piano, perhaps returning to that childlike feeling.” “Guilty” depicts the pain of falling in love so hard and the hardships that moving on brings.
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Thank you for listening to ‘Old Flowers.’ 🌹🌹🌹 In spirit of the release, I’m going to continue with the stories for each song. “Guilty”: I wrote this on a friend’s piano in L.A. (love you @susy.storm ) Growing up in Arizona, I was always drawn to California, because it had the ocean! When I return, I always have a childlike feeling of inspiration. While recording “Guilty,” the sun had completely gone down over the L.A skyline, and it was getting really late. My voice was so worn from singing all day, so I sang the take that made the record while lying on the floor, cradling the mic in my hands as Mat played piano, perhaps returning to that childlike feeling. 📸 by my sweet fran @kendallrock
On “Together Or Alone,” “Here I am in my first ever apartment. When I first moved into this small sacred space, I’d sing and play on that piano late into the night. That’s how this song came about. My friend @chandleraustinjones helped carry this upright to my bedroom from an estate sale, and a couple days later I wrote ‘Together or Alone.’ It was the first song I wrote in a space that was truly my own.”
Released mid-summer, the assemblage of well-crafted stories transports you back to a place of familiarity and the ever-lasting feeling of nostalgia. Simplicity is key in Andrews’ writing and minimalistic instrumentation proves to be more powerful.
Featured Image: Fat Possum Records