Courtney Marie Andrews Explains "Bumper in the Hail"
Our experts marveled at the singer's voice as they discussed the lead single off of her upcoming album, No One's Slate Is Clean.
This week we caught up with Andrews, who is currently visiting Seattle, to get her take on the new track.
Up on the Sun: So tell us a little bit about "Bumper In The Hail."
Courtney Marie Andrews: Well, we recorded it down in Phoenix with a producer named Chris Testa. I'm always a fan of open interpretations for songs. But what it means for me is being afraid to make something because, things may have in the past broken. That's what it's about to me but interpretations are always a good thing.
What was the inspiration behind the song?
Inspiration's a funny thing: it always comes when you least expect it. I can't really put a name on it. I know the place where I was when I wrote it. I was on a porch in Seattle and it was raining.
How long ago was that?
I wrote it this year, probably about March.
So when you say rainy porch in Seattle, are we talking like a condo balcony in the city, or a porch from a quaint cottage with pine trees everywhere?
I'm going to go with a cottage type porch. It's actually not directly in Seattle; it's in a little town outside of Seattle. It's a porch covered in green vines, and trees. There are horses there and a bar that we all play music in.
So are you living in Seattle now?
I live all over. I don't know, I don't live anywhere [laughs]. Right now I'm in Seattle but I'll be in Phoenix next year.
OK, I didn't realize you were still in Seattle; got it.
Yes I am in Seattle right now practicing with my band. Pretty soon we're going to be on a two month tour.
So are you stationed out there now?
Stationed? No, just staying with friends and hanging out for a couple of months. I wouldn't say stationed though. I'm very often not stationed. I still say I'm from Phoenix.
I've been coming here for four or five years now. On tours and stuff, and I have a bunch of friends up here and my band's up here. I figure it's easier for me to come up here for a few months than for them to come down to Phoenix.
Is there a difference in your mood when you're writing a song in Seattle versus Phoenix, or does it not really have an affect on you?
Sure it has an affect; it's hard to tell though. I've written a northwestern sounding song in Phoenix, and a southwestern sounding song in Seattle.
So what makes a northwestern sounding song, a northwestern sounding song?
Well to me, when I hear a song I see things; I see imagery. I very much play how I feel. I play chords through moods. Kind of like writing a soundtrack to my life. So when I see Phoenix, and all these things that I have done there, and living there ... I grew up there so it's my home, but I hear different things when I'm up here.
What images come to you when you think of "Bumper in the Hail?"
Very much where I was at that moment I suppose. It was written on a rainy porch in Seattle. So I guess it is very Seattle-like. There's a lot of references to things that have happened to me.
That sounds very cool. So when will you be back in Phoenix?
I'll be back for a couple weeks in December and then again in February.
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