Exploration of vulnerability and heartbreak
Courtney Marie Andrews, an American singer-songwriter from Phoenix, Arizona, is set to release her new album, Old Flowers, this July. Andrews writes the album at the end of a relationship that lasted nine years, about a third of her lifetime.
This album, like many, tells the story of heartbreak, but Andrews sheds anything that isn’t honesty and explores the vulnerability that comes with separation and being forced to look at oneself. When leaving behind a relationship with a person that has embedded themselves so deeply into one’s life and, in some ways, oneself, Andrews rediscovers what it means to be alone and reminisces all that she lost in her relationship. Old flowers pressed between the pages of a book may be dead, but their former beauty can still be appreciated.
Old Flowers begins with “Burlap String,” a song that tells of a past love that is unprecedented. Andrews sings with regret of an irreplaceable person she wishes she could have one more chance with, to tell them how much they mean to her. “Guilty” tells of falling in love and the pain that comes with falling so deep, alluding to its eventual failure and the difficulty that comes with moving on.
“Break the Spell” dives deeper into this theme and speaks of a hypnotizing love that feels almost impossible to break out of, even if it is necessary. “If I told” describes a night on a beach in Venice when Andrews realizes she is in love and ponders what it would mean to admit her love, for that would make it real, and there is an element of fear within that. “How You Get Hurt” follows this and suggests that admitting feelings will introduce complications that will result in one’s ultimate downfall.
In “It Must be Someone Else’s Fault,” Andrews faces heartbreak and talks of how her saddened state can’t be her fault, not wanting to admit the aid of her own sensitivity with that. The dangers of vulnerability show through in “Carnival Dream,” in which Andrews fears she will never be capable of loving again, singing in a melancholy tone, her voice nearly breaking. Her claim of honesty about heartbreak is present in the modulations of her voice, complementing her aching lyrics.
The inescapable end of a relationship is demonstrated in “Old Flowers,” the song declaring that old flowers can no longer be watered, a metaphor for a love that is over and can no longer be brought back. In “Together or Alone” and “Ships in the Night,” feelings of resentment are abolished, and Andrews wishes the best for her ex-lover, hoping that both of them will move on and that life will bring them what they please. Like the well-known expression, “Ships in the Night” concludes the album by revealing that their love might have been great but took place at the wrong time, and they may no longer be together but will go on and find happiness just the same.
Andrews’s album Old Flowers unapologetically exposes the truths of love and heartbreak and what it means to leave it behind when the time has come. She unveils her experiences and emotions through the highs and lows of a relationship and how they bring growth, gifting a new and progressive meaning to being alone.