It's week eight of our Polaris Music Prize listening party, and Kathleen Edwards's Voyageur is our featured album.
Voyageur is the fourth album from Edwards, who previously landed on the Polaris short list for her 2008 album, Asking for Flowers. Her latest work chronicles the dissolution of her marriage to producer Colin Cripps, who played on Edwards's last record. Unlike most breakup albums, Voyageur explores the despair without becoming eclipsed by it, especially on tracks like "Change the Sheets," "Mint" and "House Full of Empty Rooms."
The album took more than a year to create, with Edwards reworking tracks to find the right "feel" for the record. Justin Vernon (a.k.a. Bon Iver) co-produced the album. He began work on Voyageur in fall 2010, before the Wisconsinite's breakout self-titled album was featured on nearly every tastemaker's 2011 year-end list. Edwards met Vernon (who also sings and plays on the album) via email, and the pair discussed their creative ambitions and their cats (they both have two).
"Talking to Justin about making music confirmed every sentiment about what was missing for me," Edwards said on her CBC Music profile upon the release of her now shortlisted album.
The production talent on Voyageur is matched by a lineup of solid musical guests. Norah Jones, Jim Bryson, John Roderick (the Long Winters), Stornoway and Francis Farewell Starlite provide backing vocals on select tracks. Edwards and her backing band were also joined by guest players Afie Jurvanen (Bahamas), Sean Carey of Bon Iver and Brian Moen of Peter Wolf Crier, along with Bryson.
You can stream Voyageur until Sept. 12 on CBC Music. The Polaris Music Prize gala will be broadcast live on CBC Radio 3 on Sept. 24.
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