Canadian born and based singer/songwriter Kathleen Edwards has been pretty much a critic’s darling (with many Juno nominations) since her 2003 Rounder Records debut, Failer, of which Rolling Stone and The New York Times gave her high praises for both her songwriting and delivery. The 2005 followup, Back To Me, brought her more success with the singles “In State” and the infectious (and sultry as hell) “Back To Me.” Asking For Flowers followed in 2008, this time featuring session musicians as backup and not a whole lot of single action. She returns now with Voyageur, an album that captures the magic of her earlier recordings with added ethereal effects and a more expansive quality with still-folksy lyrics. It makes for a uniquely beautiful and fresh sound.
That new sound is, in part, due to her romantic and musical alliance with justin Vernon (Bon Iver). Vernon co-produced the album and lent his musical sensibilities as well. And despite the heartache content of some of the material (no doubt a result of her recent divorce), it is clear Edwards is in a good place and the new love and new direction agree with her. Voyageur connects on a much deeper level, the lyrics revealing many more layers of Edwards emotionality than we’ve heard previously. “A Soft Place To Land” is vulnerable and gentle, with angelic vocals that soar easily and effortlessly. Another one of my favorites is “Pink Champagne,” where Edwards is in a face-the-music state of mind, telling it like it is in a Celestial-Folk-Queen manner. She’s definitely broadening her musical scope, with the New-Agey rock offering “Empty Threat.”
Voyageur shows growth and expansion both musically and emotionally. There’s no question it will open her up to new audiences and perhaps give her commercial success to match her critical acclaim.
Voyageur TRACK LIST
01. Empty Threat
03. A Soft Place to Land
04. Change the Sheets
05. House Full of Empty Rooms
08. Pink Champagne
09. Going to Hell
10. For the Record
By Aileen Ballard
“I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass.” ~ Maya Angelou
“Woman is the Wonder of the World.” ~ Billy Joe Shaver