Secret Meeting score: 86
by Joseph Purcell
On her 2016 album, Honest Life, Arizona native, Courtney Marie Andrews, exemplified her penchant for touching emotive laden tracks that resonate. The album’s title track was a haunting ode to the realisation of life’s struggles, while being both breathtaking and emotional – and is a breakout record that’s still criminally under appreciated.
Now, in 2018, Andrews returns with her eighth studio album, May Your Kindness Remain, with a splash of Americana, and country fused gospel – with her focus honed in on the touching tales of solitude, love and strife.
Opening with the title track, a solitary organ builds around Andrews’ majestic voice – the commentary of her lyrics covering true love, diamonds and disappointments, all of which is in battle with the pervading message ‘may your kindness remain’. Rough Around the Edges is the inescapable highlight, with Andrews complimented beautifully by a single organ and Mark Howard’s focussed, yet spacious, production. Kindness of Strangers abounds with its contrasting messages of giving all and giving up, as Andrews recalls expertly the moments when a crutch is needed to support our emotional base, as she’s questions- ‘how do you find solace in a place so quick to judge? I’m getting by on the kindness of strangers’.
The musical waltz of I’ve Hurt Worse is bursting with an air of warm familiarity as Andrews sings, ‘I like you honey, being with you is like being alone’ – again returning to the disenchanted juxtaposition of committing to broken relationships; a theme that is interwoven and pervades throughout the record. Before the record concludes with Long Road Back to You as the hollow din of a scaling electric guitar, gently picked acoustic and Andrews’ hauntingly resonating vocal intertwine in a flowing dance of turmoil over an intense six minutes.
May Your Kindness Remain delivers in displaying the full spectrum of Andrews’ talents- her progression as an artist from country, to rock and gospel, has has allowed her to musically evolve, but without losing the majestic sound of her previous works. Eight albums into her career, she’s still not made the commercial breakthrough she deserves, but one feels it isn’t far around the corner.