On 7th October Courtney Marie Andrews released her eighth album, Loose Future, on Fat Possum Records. The ten-track, 33-minute record is the follow-up to her Grammy-nominated Old Flowers. Loose Future was written primarily by Andrews, with Kate York co-writing on two tracks, and builds beautifully on Old Flowers.
The first – and title – track, Loose Future is a beautiful start, the use of Rhodes and Dulcimer, amongst many instruments, add a different sound to the song. The lyrics draw you in and stick with you, and could easily end up on repeat. It’s followed by Older Now – an equally catchy song – the vocals of which help to create a softer sound, but still one that makes you want to sing along. With lyrics like “I am older now and never gonna change”, there is a lovely theme of acceptance in the song.
Third up is On The Line – a song that has a bit of a grungy sound to the guitar and has been niggling at this reviewer since the first listen to what it is reminiscent of. The strings and instrumental break in the middle help make a good song even better. The lyrics once again stick with you and I am sure the line “you only call when it’s your love on the line” will resonate with many.
Satellite – the fourth song on the album – is one of the best on the record. It may be the poppy feel, the fact it is the first truly upbeat song, or more likely the combination of those with the choice of instrumentation, vocals and happy lyrics.
The record continues to mix the sad with the happy, from These are the Good Old Days – another sadder-sounding song, this time about embracing the here and now – to the sixties-pop-sound of Thinking On You, and the clearest ballad on the record, Let Her Go. The songs all have great and catchy lyrics, and a well-produced sound, without the overproduction that can haunt many albums.
Another highlight on the record is You Do What You Want, which features the rather unique line “green as agave”. The building of the instruments as the song progresses is one of the reasons that this track sticks with you, along with its unexpected ending – which jars at first, but after a few listens you realise is perfect for the song. The album ends with Me and Jerry – an interesting take on a love song, with lines like “Jerry loves more than my body” and “he makes me want to strip to my soul”. The abrupt ending to the song helps you realise the album has ended and is awfully short – only 33 minutes long – and all gets better for it. It’s good for an album to leave you wanting more and think, “Why not? I’ll play it again!”
If you enjoyed any of Courtney’s previous releases, or enjoy your music on the Americana/folk/singer-songwriter side, with impressive production, the inclusion of a wide range of instruments you’ve probably never heard of, and lyrics that stick with you, check out this album. What have you got to lose?