Kim Edwards never intended for the follow-up single to her critically-acclaimed 2015 release Lovers and Loners (which Elmore Magazine called “a flawless set of songs that woos the listener on first encounter and simply refuses to let go”) to take two years to complete; and she never planned on it being a duet. Yet fate finds a way, and the Pennsylvania-native’s new track with Jared Salte from The Royal Foundry gives us a glimpse of a creative force striding confidently forward into a new dimension of musical maturity.
Edwards studied classical piano starting at age four and was a piano performance major in college. Yet despite such an academic background, she has a free-spirited creativity and deep sense of musicality that keeps her work joyfully accessible. Her voice rings with silken purity, made all the more memorable for its subtle touch of grit.
In 2009, Edwards released her first self-titled EP (produced by Will Hunt (Ryan Cabrera, Amy Lee) and Ken Calderon). Her 2012 full-length album Wanderlust debuted at #25 on the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart and led to performances with artists such as Jars of Clay, Shirock, and Zerbin and a spot in the acclaimed NY Songwriters Circle showcase. In 2015, she released Lovers and Loners. In September of that year she began work on her next single, but was beset by delays. Instead of giving in to frustration, Edwards changed direction.
“I think I was ready to focus on something other than myself, so I ended up supporting other musicians, collaborating, and listening to a lot of other people's music,” says Edwards. “I did try to write for myself here and there...but I mostly did a lot of listening.” Immersing herself in a broad world of creativity in turn inspired a season of artistic growth and renewed vision.
Edwards turned to Jared Salte from The Royal Foundry for production help on her new single. Salte sensed Edward’s new artistic openness and decided to seize the moment. “I sent Jared the track, which felt finished to me at the time,” relates Edwards. “Jared sent back a rough mix, with a note that he had added music for a chorus and trimmed the bridge. I loved it, and I wrote lyrics for the chorus. So yeah, it was a bit of an ‘accidental co-write’!”
Lyrically, the song is a reflection on the bittersweet sense of the infinite, invincible quality of youth inevitably dulling with age and experience. “However, I didn't want to write from a sad or regretful standpoint,” explains Edwards, “but rather with the view of somehow returning to that hope of youth. From there, I began imagining the aftermath of the story of Adam and Eve. Perhaps no two figures have ever felt that 'longing to return' as they did. I think humanity innately longs for something better, and maybe a part of that 'better' is encapsulated in those feelings of our youth.”
“When We Were Young” represents the next stage of Edwards’ evolution as an artist, yet it’s still very much a Kim Edwards song. While it marks the beginning of a new season for her artistically, there’s an honesty to Edwards’ work that’s unmistakable. “You can dress up a song in a lot of different ways sonically,” she says, “and those new options can really enhance and expand the way I write, but at the end of the day, it’s still me. I still feel like I'm figuring out my sound and my art. Maybe that's all part of being an artist -- understanding that it is a never-ending process of artistic evolution.
"Come and watch me grow.”
"Lovers And Loners is a flawless set of songs, one that ought to establish Edwards as a rising star on the horizon… specifically in the singer/songwriter sphere."
- Lee Zimmerman, Elmore Magazine
"Edwards has a booming voice, which displays every emotion this relationship goes through. She is perfectly authentic whether she is looking for love, begging for redemption, or sullen over the final outcome."