The lion's share of the press surrounding Kathleen Edwards's latest album, Voyageur, has been preoccupied with her romantic ties to our very own local-boy-made-Grammy-good Justin Vernon of Bon Iver. Considering the impressive career the Canadian alt-country songstress had already carved out over the course of the previous decade before the two ever crossed paths, this is more than a little unfair. That being said, Vernon's impact on Edwards's sound — he produced the album at his April Base Studio — is undeniable. Edwards's highly melodic broken-hearted narratives stay poised perfectly between adult-contemporary folk-pop and pastoral country-rock, but Vernon's production injects a welcome weirdness. Throughout Voyageur's 10 tracks, highly traditional song structures are coated in gauzy synthetic sounds and colored with unexpected instrumental touches. Embracing the odd without sacrificing anything in the way of melodic immediacy — there are hooks aplenty on songs like "Change the Sheets" and "Moving to America" — has resulted in Edwards's finest musical hour. 18+.
Fri., Sept. 28, 7 p.m., 2012