failer

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This song seems like a link in a chain that includes Lucinda Williams’ “Passionate Kisses”, Rosanne Cash’s “Seven Year Ache” and Mary Chapin Carpenter’s “He Thinks He’ll Keep Her”: a kind of soft, jangly almost-country rock that doesn’t exactly fit into any one category. I wouldn’t say that it’s exclusively female, but I’m not sure if there’s a male counterpart…The Gin Blossoms, maybe? Or “Fourth Of July” by X, perhaps. It’s music I like, but it seems very locked into a very specific time–approximately 1987–1992 or so. A brief, strange window when this kind of thing was somewhat popular. I don’t think I’m being very clear here. Alas.

change the sheets and then change me

It seemed odd to me that I have never done a post on Kathleen Edwards – probably my favourite modern-day female singer/songwriter – until I realized that the last time she released a record was in 2008, a year before I even began writing this blog. Four years is a long time to go without a Kathleen record, but it sounds like the extended break did the Canadian songstress some serious good.

Today marks the release of Voyageur, Kathleen’s fourth full-length album, and what sounds like her strongest effort since 2003’s Failer (a desert island top 10 disc of mine for sure – get that shit). Since 2008’s Asking for Flowers, Kathleen got a divorce from her longtime collaborator Colin Cripps and subsequently started up a relationship with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver; it needn’t be said that Voyageur certainly isn’t lacking any emotional punches. Edwards and Vernon produced the album together and you can hear hints of Bon Iver in songs like my personal favourite, “Chameleon/Comedian”. That isn’t to say that this album isn’t very much Kathleen’s own, however; what I love about her records is that they always give a glimpse inside both her head and her heart in a deeply personal way that many other artists wouldn’t be comfortable enough to share with their listeners.

mp3: Kathleen Edwards - Change the Sheets from Voyageur (2012)
mp3: Kathleen Edwards - Chameleon/Comedian from Voyageur (2012)
mp3: Kathleen Edwards - 12 Bellevue from Failer (2003) 

Check out this mini-documentary on Voyageur including an interview with Justin Vernon:



Hey, remember that time I went to Sasquatch four years ago and Bon Iver covered a Kathleen Edwards song? Who would’ve guessed they would end up together… (*mushy thoughts*) Is it really horrible of me to hope that they eventually break up though? I mean, how awesome would those two break-up albums be?! Just sayin’…

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And if you weren’t so old I’d probably keep you
If you weren’t so old I’d tell my friends
But I don’t think your wife would like my friends 

Westby - Kathleen Edwards