Kathleen Edwards

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. The Romantic poet William Wordsworth said that poetry is born in “emotion recollected in tranquility,” and Voyageur evokes a spectrum of overwhelming feelings within the atmosphere of a lucid dream. Edward’s characters speak to the grief, loneliness, shock, and confusion that come with endings as well as the hope and irrepressible joy that accompany new beginnings, but the stories are told with a seductively quiet strength. The album celebrates the many pleasures of survival and reinvention, suggesting that an acceptance of life’s changeability is what will allow us to face the hardest of hard times — as well as the exhilarating longing and dislocation of the unknown — head on, with grace.

(written by Damian Rogers)

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