We first got to know Courtney Marie Andrews back in 2018 when she recounted for us her journey from emo to country on the occasion of releasing her breakthrough Americana solo record May Your Kindness Remain. Just two years later and it sounds like she’s been churning out these folksy sounds her entire career with her heartbroken new LP Old Flowers.
Perhaps that was the missing ingredient in her solo career, which now spans over a decade—the themes of love and heartbreak haunt the new record in a way that never felt this present on previous releases. The shaky minimalism of songs like “If I Told” are shockingly vulnerable, while full-band numbers like “It Must Be Someone Else’s Fault” match this openness in Andrews’ lyrics.
In the spirit of this theme of love and heartbreak, CMA has assembled eleven tracks that she sees as spiritual predecessors to Old Flowers’ lovelorn charm. Stream the full playlist below, and read on for Courtney’s explanation for each inclusion.
Old Flowers is out this Friday, July 24, via Fat Possum—pre-order it here.
Leonard Cohen, “Did I Ever Love You?”
This is possibly one of the most heartbreaking Cohen songs. He melodically questions if his love for someone was true, but you get the sense it was so real, he does not want it to be, because it hurts too much.
Peggy Lee, “Where or When”
This track is perfect—an existential love song about feeling like you’ve met your lover in a past life.
Sharon Van Etten, “Your Love Is Killing Me”
That moment when you’ve lost yourself to love… A haunting tune.
Arthur Russell, “Maybe She”
A song that evokes that childish spirit of new love, or of unrequited love. This song has such a great vibe.
The Velvet Underground, “Pale Blue Eyes”
I feel like I always listen to The Velvet Underground on Sunday afternoons. There’s something about the laid back easiness to their tunes. Mix in that vibe with lyrics about heartbreak, and you have one of their best tracks.
Bob Dylan, “Mama, You Been on My Mind”
This Bob Dylan B-side is one of the sweetest love songs to someone you’re no longer with. This stanza slays me”
When you wake up in the mornin’, baby, look inside your mirror
You know I won’t be next to you, you know I won’t be near
I’d just be curious to know if you can see yourself as clear”
Waxahatchee, “Can’t Do Much”
Absolutely in love with this brilliantly poetic love song.
Aretha Franklin, “Don’t Play That Song”
We’ve all been stopped in our tracks in a grocery store, only to hear a song that so vividly reminds you of your ex. This song kills me and is probably in my top five of Aretha songs. That piano playing, that voice….
Billie Holiday, “You Go to My Head”
When it comes to love songs, Billie has a career’s worth of them. That voice is a love song on its own.
Joni Mitchell, “Help Me”
Uh oh, falling in love and you ain’t ready, Joni? We’ve all been there. The harmonies on this song are insane.
Bonnie Raitt, “Love Has No Pride”
I first heard this song in The Little Rascals, and I’ll never forget that moment. It was perfectly timed, and it’s a beautiful sentiment that is so true.