Listen to #XPNFest artist Courtney Marie Andrews’ new album May Your Kindness Remain via NPR Music

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Courtney Marie Andrews | photo by Laura E. Partain

Courtney Marie Andrews has spent a lot of time on the road — so much that she wrote an entire record about what she’s learned, about herself and about the world, along the way. The Americana singer-songwriter is taking no break from the tour life anytime soon, but before she heads our way to play the 2018 XPoNential Music Festival this July, she’s releasing that record.

May Your Kindness Remain is out March 23 on Fat Possum Records / Mama Bird Recording Co., but it’s available now to stream in full via NPR Music’s First Listen. Andrews covers a lot of ground on the span of the record, her vividly descriptive lyrics exploring everything from financial and emotional hardship (“Took You Up,” “This House”) to depression and loneliness (“Rough Around the Edges,” “Lift the Lonely from My Heart”), all in a deeply emotional, empathetic way.

Recounting scenes of despair, Andrews’ songs are filled with observations of the troubles she sees in the everyday lives of the people she meets. But even with these heavy themes, Andrews doesn’t risk leaving out the hope and optimism that accompanies hard times. “Kindness of Strangers” brings the optimism and empathy in full force: “How do you find solace in a place so quick to judge?” Andrews asks, answering her own question a few moments later — “You rely on the kindness of strangers.”

NPR’s Jewly Hight writes:

“A big part of what gives these ten songs their grounded power is Andrews’ attentiveness to how external hardships can feed inner turmoil, and how difficult it is bearing deprivation in utter isolation. She doesn’t just tell us these truths; she makes us feel them poignantly, and right on time.”

Listen to May Your Kindness Remain here via NPR Music and find more information on this year’s festival at XPNFest.org. Courtney Marie Andrews also plays Boot & Saddle on Saturday, March 24 with Matt Dorrien. Find tickets and more information on that show on the XPN Concert Calendar.

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