Andrew Cushin’s ascendency has been hard won. Since releasing his first music at the start of 2020 and receiving kudos from the elder Gallagher brother early doors, the Newcastle singer-songwriter went on to get a further leg-up from Peter Doherty, signing to his Strap Originals label. Although that may all sound star-studded and plain sailing, Cushin spent the whole three year period slogging it through the small venue circuit the length and breadth of the British Isles, notching his discography up with single after single. Although the larger venues eventually came calling through Peter Doherty support slots and a further bolster from Louis Tomlinson with a succession of US and worldwide tour dates, no-one can say the boy hasn’t earned his stripes.
‘Waiting For The Rain’ is the culmination of all of this groundwork, whilst precisely capturing what the northern musician is all about. See, it’s not easy to place or categorise him. All of his songs are guitar based and self-written, glancing at the writing credits there’s not even the whiff of a co-write, yet there’s an aspect, possibly in the note-perfect, sonorously expressive vocals or polished instrumentation, that ekes aesthetically close to the Ed Sheerens and Lewis Capaldis of the world. Yet thankfully, what Andrew Cushin has that the rest of his young solo artist fraternity don’t have, is an indefinable indie rock edge that ultimately places his tunes alongside the Noels and Paul Wellers of the world.
Rootsy opener ‘Let Me Give It To You’ maintains that rock’n’roll is at the record’s core, ‘Comedown’ has a deliciously dirty bassline and ‘Wor Flags’ goes full jaunty merseybeat, so through and through the album has solid alternative rock sympathies, but the most satisfying songs are when the emotions flow without restraint, as on ‘Just Like You’d Want Me To’, ‘Broken Love Song’, ‘I Want You To Be There’ and the lushly reworked title track. For a 23 year old, Cushin’s experiences communicated through the harrowing ‘4.5%’, of coping with the death of his father through alcoholism, could be the experiences of someone twice his age.
It would be worth checking whether Oasis left ‘Dream For A Moment’ lying around somewhere as it’s good enough by itself to fit on either of their early LPs but the biggest praise is reserved for final track ‘The End’ which sees the artist at his most lyrically profound against rolling drums and cathartic keyboards, a choir of kids joining in the contemplative, liberating chorus “Cause in the end, when the sun goes down, and our kids they stand to put me in the ground, it’s the end of everything, and I didn’t mean a thing”.
His ascendency has been hard fought for, but ‘Waiting For The Rain’ is Andrew Cushin’s victory lap and he’s entirely deserving of whatever trophies it’s gonna bring his way.
‘Waiting For The Rain’ was released via Strap Originals on 29th September 2023 and is available wherever you normally find your music. You can give it a stream, buy it on itunes, or get hold of the physical release. We’ve included a link to the record on Spotify below: