Courtney Marie Andrews
Sounds Like: Gorgeously introspective Laurel Canyon-tinged folk, delightfully free of ironic twee, manbuns or overly-dated flourishes: think Joni Mitchell, riding the "Big Yellow Uber"
For Fans of: First Aid Kit, Indigo Girls, the "J" Trilogy: Mitchell, Joan Baez, Joan Armatrading
Why You Should Pay Attention: Andrews has been a touring musician since she left home at 16, playing guitar and singing backup for Damien Jurado and Jimmy Eat World, and gaining praise from Ryan Adams for her quietly released solo albums along the way. And though traveling the world in your early twenties might seem like a dream for some, Andrews longed for the comforts of home, eventually taking a job as a bartender in the Pacific Northwest. It was there, slinging beers and mixed drinks to a working-class clientele, that she began to write the material that would become her most recent LP, Honest Life. On songs like the title track, the maturity is uncanny: "some people take a little more time to grow," she sings, her voice flickering and flourishing. It's an inquiry into authenticity and sense of place that few could conjure with twice the amount of years under their belt.
She Says: "People love to talk about their deepest personal thoughts when they are intoxicated. I never intended to write based around those stories, but they really influenced me. It gave me a wider empathy for the world, and those stories are the ones that ring true in my soul more than anything." And she knows a thing or two about summoning liquid courage: "Of all the bartenders, I was always the one to pour the stiffest drink."
Hear for Yourself: On "How Quickly Your Heart Mends," Andrews mourns a lover who has moved on too fast, in a warble that indicates she's hurting more for the ephemeral nature of romance than any one particular suitor. M.M.