Two things I know as fact about Canada; one, it’s cold as hell. And two, they export some of the best modern singer songwriter music available. Not the whiny angst ridden varitey that you seem to get here in the US. Certainly, with artists like Laura Marling and Ellie Goulding, the UK is still leading the pack. But Canada is closing the gap quick. Especially with fantastic emerging artists like Kathleen Edwards.
I hate to admit that I didn’t even hear about Kathleen until January’s release of “Voyageur“. Yes, it had a ton of buzz surrounding it’s release (more on this later), but she’s the type of artist that I would love to have found out about years ago. As good as “Voyageur” is, her earlier material is equally as stimulating. With her 2002 Canadian release of “Failer” Kathleen gained critical acclaim in Canada, and even secured a spot at SXSW. Since then, her notaritey in America has slowly grown. Her latest offering, not suprisingly, was met with much aticipation in both Canada and America.
While it is extremley well written, to be fair, “Voyageur” is not only popular because of its musical content. Her higly publicized relationship with Justin Vernon (Bon Iver, for those than don’t know) certainly didn’t hurt anything. In addition, he produced, sang, and played on the release. This gives some tracks like “For The Record” that very familair Bon Iver sound. Some the more upbeat tracks like “Sidecar” take on a very Sarah Harmer feel. “Voyageur” is an easy listen for sure, perfect for that slow-paced overcast kind of day.
Her current single “Change The Sheets“, about a relationship gone awry in some manner, is a great late night cruise track. It manages to encompass the feel of the whole album for me, making it a perfect single release in my book. The video was shot at various locations around Minneapolis, and gives you a feeling of just how hectic road life can be.
While not practically meant for probable mainstream success, she’s bound to continue to be a great live draw. Having graduated from opening for larger acts, like Bon Iver, she now is headlining venues across Canada and the US. “Voyageur” is available now. Listen to her single “Change The Sheets” below, and while you’re at it, check out the video.