Courtney Marie Andrews: DIY Festival Headliner
Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, singer-songwriter Courtney Marie Andrews will be joining the lineup of national headliners at the 15th Annual Craft Lake City DIY Festival Presented By Harmons. Check out SLUG Senior Staff Writer Mekenna Malan’s recent interview with Andrews and don’t miss the chance to see her perform live on Friday, August 11 on the SLUG Mag stage at the DIY Fest.
Since she first began performing at 15 years old, Courtney Marie Andrews has enjoyed a whirlwind of a career. She toured with Jimmy Eat World for two years at age 18, and her fifth full-length release, Old Flowers, received a nomination for “Best Americana Album” at the Grammy Awards in 2020. On her latest album, Loose Future, Andrews collaborated with modern folk favorites Sam Evian, Grizzly Bear’s Chris Bear and Bonny Light Horseman’s Josh Kaufman to create a warm, rambling portrait of easygoing Americana. In anticipation of her performance at the DIY Festival this month, Andrews provides a deeper look into her musical journey.
SLUG: What examples of artistry, musical or otherwise, inspired you early in your life?
Andrews: Little Orphan Annie and karaoke at Mr. Lucky’s Bar in Phoenix—singing pop-country songs and soul songs.
SLUG: You write, sing and paint; from the outside, your life seems full to the brim with art. Do you find that these different mediums flow together and enhance each other? If so, how?
Andrews: Absolutely. I used to think they detracted from one another; now I believe that they are all different animals on the same carousel.
SLUG: There’s a lot of commentary out there about the heartbreak you endured while writing your Grammy-nominated album, Old Flowers. What is inspiring you now?
Andrews: Heartbreak is a part of life because love is a part of life. Grief is the price for love. It is our duty as artists to reflect life, so I’m always trying to do that. I try to be honest with where I’m at, and that usually produces the most honest work. Right now, big life changes are inspiring me, as are solitude and reflection.
SLUG: You incorporated some experimental techniques in your songwriting for Loose Future. Do you feel your process has become more playful as you’ve progressed in your career?
Andrews: Since I started writing music, I have never been interested in making the same album twice. It’s integral for me to expand and experiment. The experimentation on Loose Future was meant to be playful because it is a love record.
SLUG: Could you identify one song on Loose Future and go deep into the inspiration and process behind it?
Andrews: “Older Now” was the first song we recorded for Loose Future. I wrote it after my first date as a newly single person and that felt like a big step forward. Sonically, it was a tone-setter for the record. I knew I wanted lots of non-traditional percussion on the record, and this song led the way for that sound.
SLUG: You’ve performed in Utah a few times now. Are you happy to return?
Andrews: I used to tour up through Utah during my early days of touring, being from Arizona. I have lots of formative memories there, and I definitely look forward to returning. I actually think my first show outside of Arizona was in Utah!
SLUG: When you began pursuing music, did you ever imagine you’d experience the success you have now?
Andrews: You can’t predict what is going to happen. All you can do is keep trying and creating. I hoped that I wouldn’t have to bartend my whole life so I could dedicate myself to my work. It still blows my mind that that’s a realized dream.
Through it all, Andrews has always allowed creativity to guide her. “Loose future, if you wanna ride with me / Loose future, nowhere we need to be,” she sings on the title track of her 2022 album. Check out @courtneymarieandrews on Instagram for music and touring updates.
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