A few months ago, the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews — a singer generally associated with Americana but whose music is really just as close to classic ’70s soul — released May Your Kindness Remain, one of the year’s most straight-up gorgeous albums. She’s not done. Today, Andrews has shared “Heart And Mind,” a beautiful gut-ripper of a song.
Andrews has been playing “Heart And Mind” for a while now, and she’s put videos of herself playing it on her Instagram. Today, we get the full recorded version. It’s a song about sexual abuse and about the burdens that it puts on women: “Sweet mother, what will you say when your daughter gets all dressed up? / Will you worry that stranger will be entitled to love?” It’s also an encouraging song: “You’re more than a body / You’re a heart and a mind.”
The song sounds amazing, with some heavily delayed guitar and some windswept organ, and with Andrews singing the absolute hell out of every syllable. Of the song, she says:
Back in November, only two days or so after the election, this song hit me like a brick at a Love’s Truck Stop. I pulled over, and wrote it in 10 minutes. That’s how some songs are delivered, fully formed, and you must write them when they come. For the first time in my womanhood, I felt powerless, because the man who was supposed to rule our country made some very shocking and hurtful comments about women. It reminded me of all the times I, or someone close to me, had been harassed, sexually abused, cat-called, or body shamed. The song is intended to empower, and to conquer our demons. It is a statement, not a plead or a question. We ARE more than bodies. We are strong, intelligent, capable humans, with our own opinions and thoughts. It’s a song that I desperately needed as a reminder, and a song that I hope serves as a reminder to women who feel powerless.
Here’s the song: