introduction by tom johnson
“Kindness of Strangers was written directly after some legendary musicians took their own life. It sparked this long and deep thought about how we all feel disconnected with each other at some point in our lives,” so says Courtney Marie Andrews about the latest track from her forthcoming new album, May Your Kindness Remain, which will be released on March 23rd on Loose (UK & Europe) and Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recording Co. in the USA.
As tender and poignant as her introduction suggests, the track is another magical offering, the antiquated glow of Andrews’ craft matched by that striking lead voice which has already cleared such a pathway for her, each release seemingly carrying her further and further towards 2018’s illustrious peak.
Said to be a record inspired by “coming to terms with depression and the reality of the world we’re living in”, May Your Kindness Remain looks set to be Andrews’ most compelling work to-date – and, ahead of its release at the end of March, we grabbed a quick Q&A with the Courtney, which you can read below alongside the stream of her latest track right here:
What was the last record you bought and was it any good?
The last record I bought was at Rough Trade in London. It was ‘Astral Weeks’ by Van Morrison. I’m a huge fan of his record ‘Moondance,’ and I’m slowly listening my way through his catalogue. Growing up in America, I feel like we always equate Van to Brown Eyed Girl, and he’s so much more than that. I’ve spent a lot of time in the UK over the past couple years, and the more I return, the deeper I go into his expansive and beautiful body of work. ‘Astral Weeks’ is brilliant.
What was the last live show you saw that blew you away?
I know it’s sort of cheating, but the last show I saw was Paul McCartney. I had a friend give my touring pals and I a few free tickets on a day off in Melbourne, Australia. It was amazing to witness so much music history on one stage. I mostly just stood there in awe the entire time saying to myself, “There’s one of The Beatles. RIGHT THERE.” The production and performances were incredible, and it felt cool to be in such a big room of people who have made so many of their life memories to these songs.
Favourite album of the last year?
There were so many great albums last year! One that particularly stood out to me was, Perfume Genius – No Shape. Such a unique and breathtaking collection of work, both sonically and structurally.
Favourite album of the last decade?
That’s so tough! As far as a modern classic, I’d say Bon Iver – For Emma, For Ever Ago, or Gillian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest. Those records made such a huge impact on this decade. Another personal favorite is ‘Dark Matter’ by Randy Newman. I think lyrically that record is just incredible, and is an example of a legend who still is making quality and relevant music. It’s so hard to chose just one! A decade is a long time.
Favourite closing track on any record?
I’m a sucker for closing tracks, because usually they’re so different than all the other songs on a record. I’m a huge fan of “Come On Up To The House” from Tom Waits – Mule Variations. What a closing tune. That song always makes me feel better.
Favourite show you’ve ever played?
I played this festival last summer called End of the Road in England. It was the perfect weekend, with an incredible lineup and the band and I had the best time. The energy was incredible, and the crowd was so positive and receptive. When you tour as much as I do, all the shows start to blur together eventually, but that one was one of the first to come to mind.
Favourite weekend record?
Every night is a weekend when you’re a musician, ha. But when I think of cruising down the highway on a Sunday morning after a crazy weekend, I think of Jackson Browne’s Running On Empty.
What’s the one thing you’d change about the music world if you could?
I feel like there are so many incredibly brilliant and unique artists whose voices go unheard and unnoticed because they don’t have the tools or means to get it out there. That always bums me out. I’d make it so every artist with a unique voice and craft had access to share their music with the world. Somehow.