Back in the summer of 2010, Ottawa-born folkie Kathleen Edwards was approached to participate in a joint project amongst other fellow artists of the homeland celebrating the hundredth anniversary of the creation of Canada’s National Parks. On September 27th, ZÃ¶e/Rounder will release her contribution: Wapusk, a new 7″ featuring Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. Both the title track, which he lends backing vocals to, and B-side (and forthcoming album track) “Change the Sheets” were produced by Vernon alongside Edwards. Listen to the gorgeous and acoustic “Wapusk” below. A different version of the song sans Bon Iver can be found on the National Parks Project album released earlier this year.
While Wapusk National Park isn’t quite a secluded cabin off in the north woods of Wisconsin, it’s no wonder how Vernon became interested in the project. Edwards explains on her website:
I opted for Wapusk, a remote and barren spot located in northern Manitoba, where many polar bears spend their summers denning and resting on the banks of Hudson Bay. Years since my canoe tripping summers, I found myself returning to my teenage sense of wonderment and joy being in the wilderness. I left with a new sense of myself, basking in the feeling of something I left behind and found again. I wrote a song there.”
By that time the following week, Edwards was in Wisconsin recording “Wapusk” with Vernon. “Justin Vernon set up some microphones and handed me his nylon string guitar”, and the rest is glorious folk history. “Unknowingly”, she added, “it marked the first of many months spent in the studio together”.
The sessions resulted in the recording of her upcoming fourth LP, Voyageur, slated for a January ’12 release. The new album features the Wapusk 7″ track “Change the Sheets” which is a “road ditty” as stated by Edwards that “might make you drive faster.” Thank you, Kathleen. I have been driving slow per Kanye West and Paul Wall’s recommendation since 2005. The new song is also streaming below.
Kathleen Edwards is currently on tour supporting Bon Iver and the dates are listed below. For a complete listing of Bon Iver’s tour, click here.
Bon Iver with Kathleen Edwards 2011 Tour Dates:
09/07 – Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theatre
09/08 – Council Bluffs, IA @ Stir Cove at Harrah’s Casino
09/09 – Kansas City, MO @ Uptown Theatre
09/11 – Saint Louis, MO @ The Pageant
09/12 – Dallas, TX @ Winspear Opera House
09/13 – Austin, TX @ The Long Center for the Performing Arts
10/19 – Manchester, UK @ Apollo
10/20 – Dublin, Ireland @ Canal Theatre
10/22 – Edinburgh, UK @ Usher Hall
10/23 – London, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo
10/24 – London, UK @ Hammersmith Apollo
10/26 – Utrecht, NL @ MCV
10/27 – Brussels, BE @ AB
10/29 – Paris, FR @ La Grande Hall De La Villette (Pitchfork Music Festival)
10/30 – Koln, DE @ E-Werk
11/01 – Berlin, DE @ Columbiahalle
11/03 – Oslo, NO @ Sentrum Scene
11/04 – Stockholm, SE @ Annexet
11/05 – Copenhagen, DK @ Falkoner
11/06 – Hamburg, DE @ Docks
11/09 – Birmingham, UK @ 02 Academy
11/10 – Leeds, UK @ Academy
11/11 – Bristol, UK @ Colston