08.14.13 — “It Can’t Be You” by Basia Bulat

Basia Bulat (and her charango)

If you only listen to one song tonight, make it “It Can’t Be You” by Basia Bulat (2013, from the forthcoming album Tall Tall Shadow).

Basia Bulat is a folk singer and multi-instrumentalist from London, Ontario. I’m a big fan of her music, especially her sophomore album Heart of My Own. Last September, I wrote a post about her fantastic song “Sparrow”, from that album. I don’t know what it is, but that song always reduces me to tears. Take a moment to revisit that post. If you’ve never heard that song before, you really have to hear it.

Again, my previous post has all of the biographical details that you might need about her. Here’s the really boiled down version: She grew up in a musical home, got a bachelor’s degree in English, plays about 208 different stringed instruments, but she mainly plays autoharp and ukulele. She never really meant to be a professional musician, but both of her albums have been Polaris-nominated. She’s also, evidently, a pretty big Toronto Blue Jays fan. I don’t know if she likes the Leafs or not, but here’s a video of her singing O Canada before a Nucks/Sens game in Ottawa

Basia Bulat has a new record called Tall Tall Shadow coming out on October 1. You can check the details of the album over at Secret City Records. There’s no pre-sale yet, but there will be. A few weeks ago, her label released the title track as a teaser. It’s quite good, even if it is a bit 10,000 Maniacs-esque. Today, Basia appeared on BBC radio, using a charango to play another new song.

This is that song:
“It Can’t Be You” by Basia Bulat

I love the sound of this instrument. Something between a twelve-stringed guitar and a uke. The charango usually has ten strings, but is really five courses of two strings. In that way, it’s similar to the twelve-string guitar, whish is six courses of two strings. The standard tuning of the instrument is very similar to the standard tuning of a ukulele, except there’s an extra course of E strings. I don’t play any of these instruments, or any instrument for that matter. I’m just repeating what I read in the wiki article.

Obviously, I also love her voice. She’s sultry and raspy and low in the register in the verses and she goes to crazy bird-like heights in the chorus. That bit between 2:30 and 2:55, where she’s almost yodeling, amazes me.

Because of how much I love her previous record, I’m really looking forward to this new album. If this song is any indication, I won’t be let down.

About dlee

North Carolina born and bred. I'm a restaurant guy who spends free time listening to music, watching hockey and playing Scrabble. I have a bachelor's degree in political science and I will most likely never put it to use. View all posts by dlee

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