Courtney Marie Andrews – “If I Told”

Courtney Marie Andrews’ last album, May Your Kindness Remain, arrived just about two years ago. It was a strikingly beautiful collection that we named Album Of The Week at the time. We heard from her here and there since, with the standalone single “Heart And Mind” later in 2018, and a contribution to a Tom Waits tribute album last year. And now, Andrews is about to return with her next album, Old Flowers.

According to a press release, Old Flowers was written after the end of a long-term relationship, and chronicles Andrews’ journey afterwards. Here’s what Andrews had to say about the album:

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.

For the album, Andrews teamed with producer Andrew Sarlo, who has also worked with Bon Iver and Big Thief. (Big Thief’s James Krivchenia also plays drums on the album, and is one of only three musicians featured, alongside Andrews herself and Twain’s Matthew Davidson taking on a whole array of instruments.) “Before we got to the studio, we agreed to prioritize making this record as cathartic and minimal as possible — focusing on Courtney’s voice and her intention behind the songs,” Sarlo said. “Courtney embraced this approach and we ended up with a raw, natural, and human record.”

Along with the announcement, Andrews has shared a lead single called “If I Told.” You can already hear exactly what the group was going for with the album. “If I Told” is a spare, meditative performance, scratchy acoustic guitars anchoring a track that’s otherwise flecked with searching piano notes and anxious background textures. And up front in all of it is Andrews’ voice, wringing beauty out of pain and self-realization. Check it out below.

TRACKLIST:
01 “Burlap String”
02 “Guilty”
03 “If I Told”
04 “Together Or Alone”
05 “Carnival Dream”
06 “Old Flowers”
07 “Break The Spell”
08 “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault”
09 “How You Get Hurt”
10 “Ships In The Night”

TOUR DATES:
03/05 – Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre*
03/08 – Toronto, ON @ Roy Thomson Hall*
03/09 – Toronto, ON @ Roy Thomson Hall*
03/10 – Boston, MA @ Orpheum Theatre*
03/11 – Chicago, IL @ Old Town School of Folk Music†
03/12 – Chicago, IL @ Old Town School of Folk Music†
03/13 – Chicago, IL @ Old Town School of Folk Music†
03/14 – Chicago, IL @ Old Town School of Folk Music†
03/16 – Fort Collins, CO @ Washington’s†
03/19 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall†
03/20 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall†
03/21 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall†
03/23 – San Luis Obispo, CA @ Fremont Theater†
03/25 – West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour†
03/26 – West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour†
03/27 – West Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour†
03/28 – Pelham, TN @ Bluegrass Underground at The Caverns 
04/24-04/25 – Indio, CA @ Stagecoach Music Festival 
05/07 – New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall†
05/08 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer†
05/09 – Boston, MA @ Royale†
05/10 – Portsmouth, NH @ Music Hall†
05/13 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club†
05/14 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall†
05/15 – New York, NY @ Webster Hall†
06/05 – Nashville, TN @ Analog  
06/09 – Brooklyn, NY @ Union Pool 
06/12 – Oslo, Norway @ Oslo Americana 
06/13-06/14 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Stockholm Americana 
06/14 – Beekse Bergen, NL @ Best Kept Secret
06/16 – Birmingham, UK @ Hare & Hounds
06/17 – Pocklington, UK @ Pocklington Arts Centre
06/18 – London, UK @ Omeara
06/19-06/21 – Tunbridge Wells, UK @ Black Deer Festival 
06/21 – Nottingham, UK @ Metronome
06/22 – Oxford, UK @ Wesley Memorial Church 
07/10 – Minneapolis, MN @ Basilica Block Party 
*with Nathaniel Rateliff
†with The Tallest Man On Earth

CREDIT: Sam Stenson

Old Flowers is out 6/5 via Fat Possum. Pre-order it here.