There's a trace of Charlie Chaplin's The Little Tramp in the way Courtney Marie Andrews struts her way through The Family Grocer in the new video for "Irene." Her character works for a small-minded manager at a local grocery store in rural Washington state. Playful at heart, she is a constant disappointment to her employer, whose managerial responsibility seems to be consumed entirely by containing Andrews' joie de vivre. Few characters could do justice to the irrepressible heart of this sweet, uplifting song — this one does.
"Irene" is the third track off Andrews' Honest Life, released last year by the Pacific Northwestern songwriter. The song has an encouraging swagger that's hard to resist, one that leaves a perfect space for Andrews' strong, swooping voice.
Andrews teamed up once again with director Josh Perrault, who has previously made videos for her songs "Put The Fire Out" and "How Quickly Your Heart Mends." She wrote "Irene" for a friend who was going through a tough time — something that Andrews, who has been a hard-touring musician since age 16, surely knows something about.
"Irene is the little voice inside most of us, that says we aren't good enough, or strong enough," Andrews wrote to NPR. "It's about shutting that voice off, while also accepting life's inevitable struggles. It's about coming to terms with who you are, and believing in that person."
The video and song are a perfect pair, each drawing from that Little Tramp-like faith that every day is a challenge to be met, and that the most irrepressible parts of ourselves are to be embraced, not shunned.