Canadian chicks kick butt. And Kathleen Edwards is the 26 year old Ottawa upstart that makes me want to go around wearing a t-shirt that says so! You know, to go with my boots.
With a voice as beautiful as she looks, in a silky dress or a man's shirt, her sound is also sweet and strong. Her latest album, Back To Me was consciously intended to be a collection of songs about more than relationships. Yet, Edwards maintains the sexual energy, raw emotion, and sincerity that prevailed on her first album, Failer; which sold a disappointing 20,000 copies in Canada and was penned after a breaking up with a beau in 2001, and included the inspirational "Hockey Skates" - one of the first songs she ever wrote.
Recently released on Rounder in the States, and MapleMusic Recordings in Canada, my favourite tracks are "Old Time Sake" which is haunted by the ghost of a past relationship (co-written with Peter Cash of The Cash Brothers), and her cover of the Jim Bryson song "Somewhere Else". Favourites that seem somehow appropriate, given that she reminds you of a scrappy younger sister, a girl who's forever shadowing the fellas.
Nowadays, Edwards says she's matured to want to "use every crayon in the box." A development most welcome for such a consistent vocal style and somewhat predictable musical arrangements, song to song, album to album. Speaking of maturity and evolutions, she also got married while working on the project - to producer and guitarist Colin Cripps, "I knew I could trust him and that made everything come together really naturally," she says. I say, Back to Me, naturally succeeds as a study in raw talent, heart, courage, and potential.
Writer: Kimberly Logue