Review: Andrew Cushin Finds His Time With Debut Album

I first came across British indie artist Andrew Cushin when word spread that this seemingly unknown artist had the legend himself, Noel Gallagher, producing only his third single, “Where’s My Family Gone?” in 2020. Upon hearing it, I was transfixed by Cushin’s writing style and how closely it mirrors Gallagher’s. I’ve been following his rise since that very night in 2020, and it’s been a wild, wild ride. Since then, he’s supported Paul Weller, The Lottery Winners, Jake Bugg, Johnny Marr, Lathums, Blossoms and many more.

Noel and Andrew in 2022. (© Andrew Cushin, Instagram)

Andrew recently joined One Direction alum Louis Tomlinson on a tour. Tomlinson has also been on a Noel Gallagher-esque kick since 2020’s Walls, which supposedly samples a few Oasis songs. (It doesn’t, but get that bag NG…) Cushin told Notion, “We played with Louis across the US and Europe and I’ve got to say I had the best experience of my life. Everyone on the team was so welcoming and I learnt so much, playing for Louis’s fans every night was a pleasure and a privilege and I’ll be forever grateful to everyone for having me along for the shows.”

As he gears up for a headlining tour later this year and after months of anticipation, Andrew Cushin has released his debut album, Waiting For The Rain.

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The album opens with the thumping “Let Me Give It To You.” I was initially thrown off by that title, but the song absolutely redeems itself with Cushin’s scathing vocal performance and terrific production. It serves as a near-perfect introduction, not only in lyrical themes but also in setting expectations: very high ones.

I paused the record to regroup after “Let Me Give It To You” and then “Just Like You’d Want Me To” took me by just as much surprise. It’s fantastic lyrically, and Cushin shines as a writer here, skillfully blending real-world issues with pop music. When Notion asked Cushin about the song and its message, he said, “It’s a song about getting on with life. It’s about making the best of every situation but never forgetting the person you’ve left lost, just like they’d want you to.” This remained my favorite song on the record because it somehow feels nostalgic, yet entirely new.

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As if Cushin was trying to kill me, he references Oasis’ “Don’t Look Back In Anger” on “Comedown”, seamlessly weaving synths into the album’s narrative. Once again, he sounds fantastic and has had three completely different, near perfect songs thus far.

I’ve played “It’s Coming Round Again” quite a few times on Britwaves already because it’s just a fantastic, guitar-based ballad. I didn’t know it could get much better than that.

“4.5%” confused me upon first listen and it’s still not my cup of tea, but I can very much appreciate it. It reminds me of The Killers’ “Uncle Jonny” in its raw, emotional value. Here, Cushin shines as a songwriter, unafraid to reveal his true self behind the rock star persona. “I think writing this record was tough in some ways,” he told Notion, “I’ve said everything I wanted to say but I’ve had to drag up a lot of upsetting times as well. As I said, I think the main word for this record is hope and I’ve really tried to incorporate a bit of hope into every song.” To Narc Magazine, he said, ““It’s the one I struggle to sing live, it had me in tears in the studio. It’s a tough experience to relive each night, but it’s a song people relate to. It’s nice for me to know there’s others out there, I think the fans are helping me with it as much as I’m helping them.”

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“Broken Love Song” is also not my cup of tea, but it’s necessary within the album—a more laid-back, calm love song. It does have a worthwhile chorus.

The title track, “Waiting for the Rain” is next and is quite passable. It simply sounds big and is a great climax to the record. Cushin has a fascinating story about the song, telling Notion, “One night I was quite drunk with a few friends and family and someone pulled a guitar out. For whatever reason it was handed to me and I don’t know why, but I said “What do you all think of this?” I played “Waiting for the Rain” and no one believed I wrote it. A few weeks later I decided to do my first show and that’s where it all began.”

“Wor Flags” has been the big single I’ve seen people talking about online. Andrew sounds fantastic on it. A perfect single choice and I’m sure it was fantastic live.

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“Dream for a Moment” is soaked in the same joy as Oasis’ “Whatever”. It shares a similar orchestral opening and, in its first few lyrics, references Oasis’ “Fade Away”. You will not hear any complaints from me. The lyrics are fantastic on here and it ranks very high in my favorite tracks on the record. I’m a sucker for orchestration.

“I Want You To Be There” is very stripped down; perhaps too much so.

The fantastic “You’ll Be Free” is next, and Cushin delivers one more fantastically written song before we conclude. It’s an uplifting piano ballad and works exceptionally well at the end of the record, complementing “Let Me Give It To You” very, very effectively.

“The End” is a rocker that closes out the album, but I would’ve swapped “You’ll Be Free” and this one. Once again: no complaints, but I’ve run out of compliments. A children’s choir takes over the final few choruses and it’s such a striking, emotional, and different way to conclude.

© Tom Hill, Strap Originals

“Waiting For The Rain” is such a terrific debut album. Not only in terms of music, but also in showcasing what Andrew Cushin is all about and what he’s capable of. There are so many things done right on this record, and I truly hope more and more people get to enjoy it. Cushin and I are close in age, with similar tastes in music and musical heroes, and I couldn’t be prouder of this emerging legend. I can only hope for more and more perfection from this up-and-comer. In 15 years, remember you heard his name here first!

Listen here.

Final Review: ★★★★.5/5

Writer’s Highlights: Let Me Give It To You, Just Like You’d Want Me To, Dream for a Moment

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