The Return of Kathleen Edwards

The Return of <b>Kathleen Edwards</b>
Kathleen Edwards' lovely 2002 debut Failer was recorded in Ottawa on the cheap; it was a scrappy, sassy collection of alt-country vignettes starring bourbon-addled fuck-ups and guys who mean well, but disappoint in the end. But if that album stewed in a kind of cool anger, the anticipated follow-up bathes in a warm reminiscence.

"I was actually going to call the record Nostalgia," says Edwards. "And then everyone said, ‘That's the worst title I ever heard.' And I was like, ‘What the fuck's wrong with that? That's the perfect title for this record!'" She ended up calling her new 11-song long player Back to Me. The title works specifically (the kiss-off title track lists all the ways Edwards is going to make an ex rue the day he wronged her) and thematically, as she sings about old neighbourhood haunts, memories and the consequences of an 18-month tour.

"The last thing I would ever wanna do is a record about being on the road and how it sucked," she says. "Because it didn't, it was really awesome. But the hardest part about being out on the road for so long was knowing that when I was coming home I wasn't actually going back to my old life anymore."

Edwards, now 26, grew up in Wakefield, QC and Ottawa. In the two years following Failer's release, she's gotten married (to guitarist and Back to Me producer Colin Cripps) and relocated to Toronto. The reluctance of the move is evident on one of the album's best tracks, "Copied Keys," in which Edwards acutely tracks her unease, singing "This is not my town and it will never be / This is our apartment filled with your things / This is your life / I get copied keys."

"I think that song is the most accurate in terms of what I actually thought my songs were about on this record," she says. "It's all about dislocation and it really captures what it was like for me."