The new album by Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards is filled with heartache and self-doubt. It makes sense - much of the album was written around the time of her divorce.


KATHLEEN EDWARDS: (Singing) Top it up, a white carnation. I borrow my mother's clutch, thinking the grass could be greener, at last, now that I'm all grown up.

CORNISH: White carnations, a mother's clutch - in this song, "Pink Champagne," Edwards begins with an image of a wedding day. And if you listen to the lyrics, you can tell things are not going to end well.


EDWARDS: (Singing) Looking back, it was such a dumb idea, five girls in the same-colored dress. Book a honeymoon and find yourself thinking, my life is a perfect mess.

I think this song is sort of a snapshot of these sort of perceived moments in a young woman's life and how you celebrate them and how, as the years go on and life sort of resumes from the, you know, the apex of that moment and the celebration of marking that moment, real life actually follows.


EDWARDS: (Singing) Pink champagne tastes the same. I don't want to feel this, I don't want to feel this way.

CORNISH: Can you tell us how the chorus came together?

EDWARDS: The referencing pink champagne came from my own, brief love affair with pink champagne where one, particular night as things were not going very well, I drank too much pink champagne. And afterwards, I reflected about how, you know, pink champagne tastes the same and - than - regular champagne. And all I could think of was that it still gave me the same hangover. And I kind of thought how it was funny that that translates in a lot of things in life.

CORNISH: Especially in the context of this, where even though we're talking about the song, about being at a wedding, it's really - it seems to be more about failed expectations.

EDWARDS: It is about failed expectations. There was a time in my life where I remember thinking to myself hey, you know, you're doing OK. You're not even 30 and you're married, you own a home and you have this career. And you really have your (beep) together and you've really sorted some things out, and you should be really proud of yourself.

And then I remember thinking that a house does not make you a better person, or a more complete person. It's just a house. And it's the things that you do in that home, and who you do it with and all that stuff, that's far, far more important.


EDWARDS: (Singing) Everybody's saying, if I were you - 'cause now you're such a good judge when it comes to love. And everybody's thinking they know me and you. Oh, I can be cruel. So can you. Pink champagne tastes the same...

Sometimes, I feel frustrated that the focus of the material is about a divorce because it's not about a divorce. It's about re-examining where you are in life, and trying to figure out the mistakes you've made and how you can be a better person. Everyone has ups and downs and sometimes, I think maybe I put a little too much out there. And then, other times, if someone says to me that this song is helping them get through something, then I guess that's validating - or it makes you feel less vulnerable for having put it out there in the first place.

CORNISH: Well, we appreciate you doing it on this song ,and on this album.

EDWARDS: Thank you. I - part of me hates you for picking the most raw song on this record to talk about, and I guess maybe it's inevitable. I don't care - of course, I don't hate you. I love you.

CORNISH: I love this song. Kathleen Edwards - her new album is called "Voyageur." Kathleen, thanks so much for talking with us.

EDWARDS: Thank you.

CORNISH: You can hear "Pink Champagne," and the other songs from "Voyageur," at


EDWARDS: (Singing) Pink champagne tastes the same. I don't want to feel this. I don't want to feel this. I don't want to feel this way.

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