An evocative breakup album from Kathleen Edwards 

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Canadian folk-rocker Kathleen Edwards and her new American beau — Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, who co-produced her latest, divorce-documenting album, “Voyageur” — have been wrestling for months with the problem of deciding where to live. In order to start nesting, one of the lovebirds will have to relocate: “And it’s been a really hard thing to wrap my head around,” she says.

Norah Jones sings on “Voyageur,” and her upcoming album is all about breakup, too. Is there a bug going around? Yeah. It’s called spring. I’m sure Norah’s talking about the same things, but my record is more about change and looking yourself in the mirror and wondering why something feels out of place. I mean, on my first record I was 22 and I broke somebody’s heart and I didn’t mean to, and then suddenly you’re experiencing a whole new emotional vocabulary. Now I’m 33, I’d never been married before, I got divorced, and I experienced some stuff that I never had. I’m getting older, my priorities are changing, and I’m wondering if life is passing me by.

You and your ex had no kids? Right. Have you seen my Twitter feed? It’s full of cats. So I think you know what my biology is all about right now.

“House Full of Empty Rooms” is a cold, clinical analysis of the split. Is it tough to sing every night in concert? Yeah, it is. And the strange thing is, I wrote that long before I’d written any other song for this record, and I was thinking about someone else. It took a few months, but I finally realized, “Whoa! That song’s about me!”

But in “Chameleon/Comedian” and “Going to Hell,” you’re hardest on yourself, right? Yeah. And I’m trying to work on that. I am my own worst enemy, and I continue to be that person. Guilt is a powerful thing.

Then you lighten the mood with the buzzy “Sidecar,” which celebrates your new romance. Yeah. And that’s actually one of my favorite songs to play live, a nice little reprieve. Because — for all the hard things on the record — I do still believe that there’s a lot of hope. And the reality is, my whole life is ahead of me, and I can’t wait to show ’em how it’s done.


If You Go

Kathleen Edwards

Where: The Independent, 628 Divisadero St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $20
Contact: (415) 771-1421,

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Tom Lanham

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