Those who were captivated by Courtney Marie Andrews‘ XPN Fest performance need not wait long to see the artist back in town. Andrews has been touring non-stop lately in support of her recent record May Your Kindness Remain, and her lengthy fall tour now includes a stop at The Fillmore opening for Shakey Graves, part of a stacked triple-bill that will give attendees a glimpse of three distinctly different approaches to the contemporary folk/Americana genre. Continue reading →
“Alright, I have a lot of feelings,” said someone in the crowd behind me at Courtney Marie Andrews‘ Marina Stage set as the musician finished her last song. With music rooted in classic Americana with a tinge of rock and roll shining through at times, Andrews isn’t your typical country singer. As she powered through today’s seven-song set, she gave the crowd a glimpse into the place of genuine kindness her earnest songwriting comes from. Continue reading →
Courtney Marie Andrewsis an observer. She’s seen the world at its best and its worst, and written a few songs about it — but observing, for Andrews, isn’t just a surface-level thing. She doesn’t hesitate to dive deep into the root of someone else’s problems, or to analyze the economic state of America through the places she’s seen and people she’s met. It probably helps that she’s a skilled storyteller with a natural knack for empathy, values kindness above all, and finds glimmers hope and optimism wherever she goes.
Andrews may write about the lives of others, but lately eyes have been on her. She is XPN’s Artist to Watch this month, and she’s been touring constantly behind her new album May Your Kindness Remain. (That tour will bring her back our way this summer for the XPoNential Music Festival.) It’s fitting that when we talked on the phone, Andrews was on the road, driving to San Francisco to play a show later that night. She’s spent a lot of time on the road — not just lately, but over the last decade or so. May Your Kindness Remain is Andrews’ fourth full-length, but it was only with her 2016 album Honest Life that she started to receive critical acclaim. Now, with a new record in tow, she’s preparing for her voice to be heard by more listeners than ever before.
In a world like ours, and with a nomadic lifestyle like Andrews’, it seems all too easy to become jaded and worn down. “When you’re trying to be tender but instead you come off cold; when your sweetness surrenders to the cruelness of this world,” Andrews sings on “Kindness of Strangers.” “All the small stuff, and the bad luck, when it all becomes too much, how do you find solace in a place so quick to judge?” She says she doesn’t have an answer to that question; there’s no easy solution. But just a moment later in the song, she does answer it, in a way: “You rely on the kindness of strangers.”
New Music Friday has blessed us this week, with the release of two new full-lengt albums from artists we’ll be getting better acquainted with this summer at XPNFest.
First, Sunflower Bean‘s Twentytwo In Blue – written while the band were all 22 years old – sees the New York City trio grappliing with an array of modern day topics, ranging from dealing with relationships to reacting to the current political climate. An eclectic range of sounds, the band takes inspiration from glam rock and punk, shoegaze and hints of folk. XPN hosted the trio of Brooklynites for a Fee at Noon set this past January, and the then-unreleased songs sounded sublime.
Throughout the album, frontwoman Julia Cumming displays her wide vocal range, from the angsty anthemic-punk track “Crisis Fest” to the blissfully atmospheric “I Was A Fool.” On the former, the band channels everyday anxieties, ranging from mounting student debt to seemingly-more-frequent missile tests and false alarms. Cumming shouts “Reality’s one big sick show,” a sentiment many can relate to in this day and age. Read our recap of their Free at Noon set and stream today’s World Cafe Session including a live performance and interview with contributing host, Stephen Kallao. Continue reading →
SXSW, the annual music festival in Austin, Texas wrapped up Sunday. Philly was repped with performances throughout the week by Queen Of Jeans, Hop Along, Ron Gallo, and others, as well as WXPN’s presence at several events. Continue reading →
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 Festivalthis July, she’s releasing that record. Continue reading →
Courtney Marie Andrews brings her latest (and breakout) album Honest Life to Boot & Saddle tonight, a record whose first songs were written while the Seattle country musician was experiencing heartbreak and homesickness in Belgium. A collaborator of many and a longtime session player, Andrews recently teamed up with Bonnie “Prince” Billy for a duet of the classic gospel tune “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” – a track featured in this month’s Now Hear This installment. Watch “Put the Fire Out” below and pick up tickets for the 21+ show with The Dove & The Wolf here.