One of modern folks leading lights, Courtney Marie Andrews, this week unveils ‘It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault’, the third cut to be taken from her latest eagerly anticipated LP Old Flowers, set for release on July 24th on Loose Music / Fat Possum Records. Originally scheduled for release in early June, the LP was pushed back in the face of the global health pandemic in order to ensure enough supplies of physical stock for independent record stores to support the digital release.
The concept for the video is simple yet effective, with Andrews, alongside a cast of women from numerous ages and backgrounds, following a simple interpretive dance, separately at first, before joining together in a hazy desert (not much social distancing going on mind). Featuring gorgeous cinematography from Adam Gundersheimer, director V Haddad states that the song “inspired us to create a video exploring being and becoming a woman and the world that surrounds her in this journey. Through dream-logic, we set out to interweave our characters through choreographed echoes and mirror moments of dance to draw out an ode to matriarchy, empathy, and sisterhood.”
There’s an elegant, timeless quality to the song which sounds already like it’s been around for decades. Having frequently been compared over the years to icons such as Joni Mitchell and Linda Ronstadt, Andrews’ songwriting continues to develop and mature with each new release and here it seems to be the focal point of her artistic attention, a similar approach taken by Laura Marling on last month’s Song For Our Daughter. Alongside the two other singles released so far this year, ‘Old Flowers‘ and ‘Burlap String‘, this latest material sits in contrast to her previous album, 2018’s May Your Kindness Remain. On that release she branched out stylistically to great effect, embracing warmer tones and new genres, including gospel and soul. Here, alongside producer Andrew Sarlo (Big Thief, Bon Iver) and musicians Matthew Davidson of Twain and James Krivchenia of Big Thief, she strips everything back to its most essential components, concocting a sparse, minimalist soundscape, her passionate vocals front and centre of the production. Inspiration for the album came from Andrews coming to terms with the aftermath of a long-term relationship, and each release so far has found her in a vulnerable frame of mind, exploring heartbreak, loneliness and finding herself again.
Andrew Sarlo surmises this stripped-back approach to recording best, stating “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. Because of this, the record is all about performance. I believe a great recording is the chemistry between everything during basics and the ability to feel something happening instead of obsessing over the perfect take. Courtney embraced this approach and we ended up with a raw, natural and human record.”
Andrews has had a stellar few years professionally, following the releases of May Your Kindness Remain and 2017’s breakthrough Honest Life LP, which has led to tours alongside Brandi Carlisle, Nathaniel Rateliff and the late, great John Prine. Whilst touring commitments have understandably been put on hold for the time being, the release of Old Flowers on the horizon looks set to further establish Courtney Marie Andrews as one of the leading musical talents of her generation.