‘I wished it to sound like that feeling of chance’: Courtney Marie Andrews’ freewheeling new album

Listen to her heart-scouring alt-folk and nation ballads about break-ups, breakdowns, poisonous relationships and breezy affairs, and Courtney Marie Andrews reads like a lyricist ready to put all of it on the road within the service of a truthful music. However by her personal admission, that openness is at odds with how she comes throughout the remainder of the time.

“You recognize what’s actually humorous,” Andrews says through video from her dwelling in Nashville, “in my private life, I’m not very revealing in any respect. Sooner or later, in my childhood, I clicked that I didn’t should burden anyone with my stuff, and I might simply put it in a music, or put it in artwork, and that may be sufficient.”

However Andrews’ new album, Free Future, is a change of tack: a brisk and easygoing set of songs about freedom, renewal, self-love and saving dedication for tomorrow. Its spacious, softly psych-frazzled soundscapes improve its freewheeling themes exquisitely. “I wished it to sound like that feeling of chance,” says Andrews, “whenever you’re driving down a coastal freeway with the solar setting and also you’re identical to: issues might be good.”

Courtney Marie Andrews: These Are the Good Outdated Days – video

Andrews hasn’t at all times greeted independence on such comfortable phrases. Raised in Phoenix, Arizona by a single mom who labored two jobs, she was a latchkey child who needed to develop accustomed to her personal firm. “I used to be fairly dramatic and felt rather a lot,” Andrews replicate. “I had plenty of an enormous, wild feelings that I’d placed on all people round me as a result of I didn’t know the place to put it.” Poetry grew to become a personal vessel for self-expression (Andrews revealed her debut poetry assortment, Outdated Monarch, final 12 months). “I’d stroll myself dwelling from college and if I didn’t have a good friend to speak to, I’d simply write these poems and sing. And I discovered that to be very useful.”

Andrews grew up surrounded by nation music. Her “cowboy grandpa”, who lived out within the desert, would drive her round enjoying nation songs in his truck. “My mom would take me to this woodchip saloon referred to as Mr Fortunate’s and I’d sing nation karaoke.” As a youngster within the mid-2000s, she picked up a guitar and rebelled into feminist punk, crashing out covers of Violent Femmes and Bikini Kill in a highschool band with buddies. “I clicked that we wanted songs,” says Andrews. “As soon as I found that, I simply couldn’t cease writing.”

Discovering Lucinda Williams’ 1998 album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road sparked the epiphany that took her again to Americana, and the die was forged. Andrews launched her debut album in 2008 aged 17. A year-long stint as backing vocalist with emo-punk band and fellow Arizonans Jimmy Eat World gave Andrews her first style correct of touring life and taught her many constructive classes in regards to the music business (“it was my school,” she says) however she was decided to stay centered on her songwriting. 4 extra information poured out within the subsequent eight years, together with her critically acclaimed break-out, 2016’s Honest Life.

Courtney Marie Andrews performing at the Union Chapel, London, 1 November 2021.
Courtney Marie Andrews performing on the Union Chapel, London, 1 November 2021. {Photograph}: Lorne Thomson/Redferns

Andrews’ seventh album, 2020’s Old Flowers, was nominated for a Grammy for finest Americana album. Because of Covid restrictions she needed to watch the ceremony on-line in her Nashville backyard. “I had just a few buddies come out,” she says. “All of us dressed up, had a bit bonfire.” (Sarah Jarosz’s World on the Ground took the prize that evening, although Andrews’ time will certainly come once more.) The place Outdated Flowers chronicled the tip of a nine-year relationship, leaning into heartache as exhausting and sluggish as solely a terrific nation singer on their downers can, Free Future is in some ways its religious and sonic antidote. Produced by Sam Evian, whose credit embody Big Thief’s Dragon New Warm Mountain I Believe in You, it options drumming from Grizzly Bear’s Chris Bear plus contributions from Bonnie Gentle Horseman’s Josh Kaufman.

Andrews wrote it in summer season 2021, in a seaside shack on Cape Cod. It felt like an unburdening. “Main as much as that was a really darkish time in my life the place I used to be lastly processing a breakup from a relationship that had lasted most of my 20s,” she says. “After I lastly acquired to Cape Cod, it was like I used to be shedding. Feeling for the primary time in my physique and in my zone, in a manner that I hadn’t felt for a very long time.”

Loneliness now not darkens her door the way in which it did when she was a child. And but, songwriting stays Andrews’ most trusted companion and confidant. “It has been,” she states, with the utmost certainty, “my biggest good friend.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *