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ALBUM REVIEW: Courtney Marie Andrews – Old Flowers

Courtney Marie Andrews

Old Flowers

Fat Possum Records / Inertia

The evolution of one of the most consistently rewarding songwriters in recent years continues with this devastating treatise and rumination on heartbreak, despair and emotional renewal. Courtney Marie Andrews has taken the tried and true subject of the end of a long-term relationship and bled new life into it with a sharpened pen and plenty of melodies that are full of sublime grace and beauty.

Old Flowers is Andrews’ reflection, dissection and way out of a nine year relationship in which “we taught each other, grew up together, we were family.” Her approach is to use a minimal instrumental palette of sparse drums, guitar and piano – the bare minimum to provide a canvas for her lyrics. There are lines that hang heavy in the air – “Distance doesn’t help” (‘Break The Spell’), “Will I ever let love in again, I may never let love in again” (‘Carnival Dream’) and “You stay with me, you never really go” (‘Together Or Alone’). 

Across the album she’s singing to her ex-partner but she’s really singing to herself. She’s processing and looking for answers and understanding, and ultimately the feeling that the album creates from its creative catharsis is one of strength, optimism and independence.

Chris Familton

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