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Kathleen Edwards - Asking For Flowers

Kathleen Edwards, Asking For Flowers

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 4 out of 5

CANADIAN singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards delivers what is arguably her strongest collection of work to date with third album, Asking For Flowers, which marks her first studio effort in three years.

Occasionally haunting, sometimes uplifting, the album is very much steeped in country and folk music values but comes backed by a beautiful voice that’s drawn comparisons with everyone from Suzanne Vega to Beth Orton.

It starts in very strong fashion, with album opener Buffalo lulling you into a false sense of melancholy with a sombre piano chord and a haunting opening vocal, before unfolding into a poignant road journey of a track, rife with evocative imagery (“In the night you and I drove, Have you ever seen lightning and snow?”).

By the time it builds to its forceful chorus (“Don’t be like that”) it should have won you over to its charms.

Second track The Cheapest Key then drops a rock vibe that’s totally endearing and couple with some more wonderful lyricism that proceeds to take the listener through the alphabet during the first verse (“A is for all the times I bit my tongue, B is for bullshit and you fed me some…”).

Thereafter, the album does tend to settle into a gentler groove, as epitomised by the sultry Asking For Flowers. But in spite of the warm sound of the music, the lyrics are rooted in the misery that comes from a failed relationship to a useless lover (“asking you for flowers is like asking you to be nice”). It’s a hard-hitting song, drenched in Edwards’ melancholy, yet defiant, vocals. But it’s another strong offering.

Another favourite is the feisty I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory, during which Edwards laments “you’re cool and cred like Fogerty, I’m Elvis Presley in the ’70s”. Part of the great joy of listening to this album is hearing Edwards’ talent for songwriting unfold.

Worth checking out, too, are the tracks Sure As Shit (another testament to her brash lyricism), albit a more stripped down track instrumentally, Oh Canada, that marks a return of the rockier vibe evident on track 2, the beautifully tender Scared At Night, and album closer Goodnight, California, which completes this particular musical journey in supremely satisfying style.

Asking For Flowers is therefore an extremely enjoyable album that proves Edwards’ career continues to blossom nicely.

Download picks: Asking For Flowers, Buffalo, The Cheapest Key, Oh Canada, Scared At Night, Goodnight, California

Track listing:

  1. Buffalo
  2. Cheapest Key
  3. Asking For Flowers
  4. Alicia Ross
  5. I Make The Dough You Get The Glory
  6. Oil Man’s War
  7. Sure As Shit
  8. Run
  9. Oh Canada
  10. Scared At Night
  11. Goodnight California