As the mellow autumn evenings beging to encroach, drawing that big dark blanket in the sky over us ever earlier, we start to change a few habits. Switching white for red, salads for stodge and up tempo dancy synth numbers for something more, comforting, resonating and dare we say melancholic.
Cue Kathleen Edwards and her new track 'Wapusk' featuring the bewildering Bon Iver. What is initially striking are the open guitar chords utilised. Filling the stark void with rich, warm tones immediately evokes a connection. A lot of issues risen in sole acoustic tracks are that of mediocrity. This track however keeps all the appeal of one man and his guitar, but subtly blends in harmonising string elements, bringing out the true flavour of Kathleen's voice. Think of the description of your favourite red wine, notes of cherries and plum entwine on the nose palette, supple and balanced with notes of cinnamon and chocolate peek through on the finish... if you could logistically correlate this description to somebody's articulation, then this is what Kathleen label would read. In a word, her voice is beautiful. The union between Kathleen and Bon Iver almost dictates disregarding the instruments altogether, this would only be case however if the construction around their harmonies weren't so well placed. Bon Iver adds an extra depth. Subtly sheltered in the backdrop, to the naive ear, you could brush over the fact he is there at all. But a closer listen unearths the soul in his delivery and his feel for the music. What really brings this song together is the transition from verse to chorus. In there lies a beguiling key change in strings and vocals. There is an elongation in expression that emphasises the emotional connection Kathleen clearly holds throughout. No deviation here, just a pure, salt of the earth, homegrown sound. Not something we get much these days is it? 'Wapusk' is released on 7" this autumn on Zoe / Rounder records. Kathleen Edwards - Wapusk (featuring Bon Iver) by Kathleen Edwards