From Neil Young to Gordon Lightfoot, Ontario has been home to some of the most compelling singer-songwriters of our time. Even still, its collective provincial scene has been churning out popular modern tunes from the likes of Dallas Green and Maynard and Blaise Plant for nearly two straight decades. Outside of huge stars like Alanis Morissette and Shania Twain, however, like with much of the music business at large, Ontario’s scene seems to evoke quite the male-dominated state of affairs.
With that being said, it’s not that the province lacks talented female singer-songwriters, and those that do enter its scene stick together. Such has been the observation of Peterborough’s next rising star in an interview with Kawartha Now, Mary-Kate Edwards. She’s one such woman who can begin to break that unfortunate mold with her brilliant stylings, and whose debut EP has been on repeat in our For Folk’s Sake offices for weeks since its March 3 release.
Birthed from out of the same hearth as artists like Joni Mitchell, Edwards performs self-penned music that comes across as deceptively understated. A three-track revelation of heart-rending material, Blueberry Pie carries itself as a sweet, hushed whisper with the power of an emotion-driven bellow. Altogether, she creates a convincing case in these tunes for what could be a successful, long-standing career in the name of the archetypal folk singer, writing and performing self-revealing art that perhaps even unintentionally speaks to and moves the masses.
Peppered across the EP are magical moments of musical unity. Sewing its instrumental roots into a combination of piano and strings at its forefront, it’s in the moments that they merge with Edwards’s sweet, emotive vocals that everything comes together. Everything culminates on the final scorcher of a track, “Never Mine”, which ends as a soaring anthem between Edwards and a chorus. It’s a moving piece, and arguably worthy of all of the radio adds it could get.
All in all, Blueberry Pie’s three tracks alone prove Edwards to be a musical heart worth listening in on. You might just find exactly what you needed to hear in her poignantly reflective songwriting, and we here at For Folk’s Sake know that we can’t wait for whatever’s to come next from Ontario’s next big thing.
For more info on Edwards, visit her Facebook page! Blueberry Pie is available for sale on iTunes, Amazon Music, and more.
Words by: Jonathan Frahm