Edwards, meanwhile, is perfectly happy to be co-starring with and even overshadowed by Eleanor, an effervescent spirit whose playfulness counters the song's focus on "the unraveling of a relationship corresponding with the unraveling of sort of a body, physically" according to Edwards, who went through both a divorce and a battle with the gastrointestinal disorder C. diff, which he still struggles with. "She's kind of a performer in a way I wasn't and I don't think her mother was," Edwards notes. "She has the bug for this kind of stuff, and she wants to do these things. So I feel like I've got to let her express her thing while also protecting her from the negative side of stuff."
Single parenting duties and his health are preventing Edwards from playing live much to promote Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset. He did celebrate its release with an April 1 show in Brooklyn and hopes to do more. Meanwhile, he's happy to have stepped out on his own with the album, working on it with producer Rob Schnapf and a band that included Pete Thomas from Elvis Costello's Attractions/Imposters and guitarist Mike Bloom (Jenny Lewis). After the dissolution of Margot & the Nuclear So & So's, Edwards calls it "some sort of restart, I guess."
"This is the great new thing," he says. "It's a fresh, renewed interest, and I've been pleasantly surprised by how positive and hopeful it feels."
And he plans to release more sooner rather than later, tapping other songs from the Lemon Cotton Candy Sunset sessions for a "supplemental record" Edwards hopes to release this fall. "I recorded two full albums' worth, and besides that probably 10 or 15 good-ish songs that didn't make it into any recordings," he says. "So there's a bunch of songs that are, like, finished and wouldn't be mortifyingly embarrassing. I'm just very excited about having something new like this to work on, so I'm going to keep forging ahead."