Andrews, Courtney Marie - May Your Kindness Remain - New LP
"The lumbering, bluesy "Border Song" is haunted by the solitary nature of her protagonist's heroic journey; he punishes his body with an arduous desert passage and daily labor, under constant fear of I.C.E., in order to help sustain loved ones far away. 'Took You Up' is an ode to intimacy forged in the absence of luxury. "Karaoke on a Monday night / Television when we want to hide / Frozen dinners when money's tight / Makin' love on a laundry pile," she sings, the lilting catches in her phrasing lending melancholy significance to the details. In "This House," she extends humble hospitality (a leaky faucet, sluggish heater, extra bed and coffee stash) in unhurried 6/8 time. In the title track, a jangly, guitar-driven number warmed by gospel-y harmonies, she emphasizes how very vital such gestures can be "when your sweetness surrenders to the cruelness of this world." And the slow-burning, soul benediction "May Your Kindness Remain" is a prayer for tenderness to survive suffering. 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."