It’s a rare thing nowadays for a country-tinged record to sound essential upon first listen – Americana, as a genre, is one that’s often frowned upon as being tired and uninspired with very few releases seeping through the cracks of counter culture. Voyageur, the new studio album from Canadian singer-songwriter Kathleen Edwards has it all. Heart on sleeve lyrics, aching melodies, swooping instrumentation and stunning production values – helped no doubt, by Justin Vernon of Bon Iver being in the producers chair.

From the breezy opener ‘Empty Threat’, the powerpop stomp of ‘Sidecar’ and the heart breaking ‘A Soft Place To Land’ – the record is without doubt the most consistent of Edwards’ career and one that will go down as the finest of its kind in 2012. Stream Voyageur in full below, one week before its official UK release date of 23 January.

Buy Voyageur via Amazon | iTunes