Courtney Marie Andrews ‘Honest Life’ beholds some life-affirming writing. The use of confessional and observational writing coupled with the liquid cool backdrop of the band make this album quite simply, an unmissable modern-day classic of Americana. Released in the good company of the Mama Bird Recording Co in 2016 and Loose in 2017, this album put Andrews in good stead for the future, but getting there did not manifest overnight. This makes it one of the most alluring features as it was actually Andrews’ 6th album, shining a light on the fact that dedication and passion will ultimately prevail.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Andrews confessed that “I’d go on the road as a backing singer but when I got home I’d have all these new songs and nothing really to show for it. I was working jobs in-between to support myself, spending all my bartending money to make albums no one listened to, running myself ragged and not getting anywhere.” Most people would be graciously forgiven for turning in at this point, but that combination of stagnant success stewed with homesickness, in turn, gave birth to something quite beautiful that we can all take comfort in.
Along with writing the songs, Andrews valiantly took the role of producer, validating her work both in and out of the notebook. Knowing their background better than any, each track follows a path of complete harmony. Andrew’s voice is caringly placed among the arrangements and musicality that cradle every story, drawing in the listener with her use of direct and metaphor free lyrics. Taking that great strength, it offers the audience zero confusion, instead it indulges them with those visual aids as you feel yourself walking into every moment alongside her, lending further to that intimate narrative.
The Bluegrass Situation named ‘Honest Life’ album of the year and it also made it into top album features in Rolling Stone and American Songwriter. We see so many artists release their first few albums to great acclaim but then burn out later down the line, that it is quite remarkable to watch someone continuing to evolve, even now on her latest album, you can still hear Andrews’ voice continuing to grow, giving hope to many that perseverance will reign. Shortly after its release, Andrews laid claim to the much-deserved title of best international artist at the UK Americana Awards. As the aptly named title ‘Honest Life’ suggests, honesty is a key feature through the album and it is great to see such a pure, hard-working individual take some recognition for what will ultimately become, an Americana classic.