Kathleen Edwards’ long-awaited new album, Voyageur, is less of a departure than it is a journey, and like any transforming trip, it demands that we let go of any preconceptions about the destination. These songs are the perfect travel companions to their own haunted landscape. Edwards guides us through a house full of empty rooms, revealing the sadness behind a public smile and the numbness that follows broken expectations and the casual cruelties of love, until we find ourselves softly drifting down to hell with her. And yet, this isn’t a bummer ride at all — it’s elevating. In fact, Voyageur is a transitional album marking the first time that Edwards has ever tried to write with others. Now listen: Much is being made about Justin Vernon’s (a.k.a. Mr. Bon Iver) influence on this album – especially as both produced the album and he’s romantically entangled with Ms. Edwards. This is all well and cool and gives Voyageur some unexpected twists, but what’s also exciting (and not nearly mentioned enough) is that John Roderick of The Long Winters co-wrote many of these songs (you should check them out). Voyageur is the sound of Edwards flinging herself towards bold new horizons. She’s also as feisty as ever – and you should really come along for the ride.
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