Chuck Klosterman once wrote that “sarcasm is when you tell someone the truth by lying on purpose.” He was right: nothing makes reality sink in quite like when it’s disguised as some light-hearted humor, a tactic that Courtney Marie Andrews uses to her advantage on her new song, “I’ve Hurt Worse.” Premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country, the track from her forthcoming LP May Your Kindness Remain might elicit a chuckle or two with lines like “I like when I have to call you a second time” but that only makes it all sting a little harder: there’s a deep, lasting value in acknowledging it’s all only funny because it’s true.
“This is one of the few songs I’ve ever written with such a heavy sense of sarcasm,” Andrews tells Rolling Stone Country. “I have a family member who loves to hurt in a relationship, and they are addicted to toxic and abusive partners. The narrator in ‘I’ve Hurt Worse’ is justifying their partner’s behaviors by comparing them to an even worse relationship they’ve been in before. It’s a sarcastic song about recognizing abuse, and allowing your own mental instability to get the best of you.”
A rich folk ballad that showcases the full range of Andrews’ dynamic, remastered- vinyl vocals, “I’ve Hurt Worse” waltzes through a whole slew of lovers’ excuses, centered on a gentle crescendo of piano. Produced by Mark Howard (Lucinda Williams, Bob Dylan), it’s one of many moments on May Your Kindness Remain, out March 23rd on Fat Possum Records/Mama Bird Recording Co., that show a sophisticated understanding of what humans are able to sacrifice just to love and be loved – or even to simply make it through the day.
Andrews heads out on tour in support of May Your Kindness Remain, the follow up to her acclaimed debut The Honest Life, later this month.