Touring in a band often means long times away from home. So what better way to avoid a long-distance relationship than to bring your other half with you? The country-pop singer Kathleen Edwards is currently supporting boyfriend Justin Vernon's folk band Bon Iver, on a string of UK dates. But rather than live in his shadow, she is also performing next week on her own, at London's Rough Trade East.
Her new single "Sidecar", which is out later this month, is co-produced by Vernon – as is her album Voyageur, which is out in January. This is Edwards's first album in four years since Asking for Flowers. "To tour with Bon Iver is a great opportunity to get back in the swing of things," says the Canadian Edwards, whose song "Summerlong" also featured on the soundtrack of the movie Elizabethtown, starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst.
Voyageur was recorded with her beau in Fall Creek, Winconsin, as well as in Toronto. She invited Norah Jones to sing on "For the Record". Bon Iver's drummer Sean Carey also lends a helping hand on the album as does Vernon who plays a variety of instruments.
"I'd taken two-and-a-half years off from making music – I was just figuring out which direction to go in creatively," says Edwards. "When I met Justin I was ready to take on the challenge of making another album. I knew I wanted to do something that felt different to my last albums. It was a long process of looking for the right person to help me find that direction and Justin came along. With Justin it was like somebody was helping me finish a sentence musically. I knew I could write the songs – but he helped me with the sonic landscapes."
Kathleen Edwards plays Rough Trade East, London E1 (020 7392 7788) on 8 Nov; "Sidecar" is out on 14 Nov