Basia Bulat is an indie-folk/pop singer-songwriter from the Toronto area. I’ve written about her a number of times on these pages here and here. I also named her Tall Tall Shadow my fifth favorite album of 2013.
Her album Heart of My Own was long-listed for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize, and Tall Tall Shadow was shortlisted for the 2014 Polaris. It was announced today that her fourth album —Good Advice— will be out on February 12, 2016 via Secret City Records. They also premiered the first single from the forthcoming album.
Some people are put off by her singing voice, which is heavy with vocal fry. Her speaking voice is too, but to a lesser extent. I actually love it. I’m one of the few who find vocal fry to be alluring. I think there’s a lot more character. Some people perceive her playful and slightly awkward demeanor to be contrived or coy, but I think it’s completely genuine. I think she’s just a little uncomfortable most of the time, and the giggling is a way to deal with that. And I think it’s adorable.
She spent the summer of 2014 driving back and forth between Toronto and Louisville, where she recorded the new album with Jim James out of My Morning Jacket. The ten new songs are fueled by the heartache of a failing relationship, and she felt that what she needed to do was make a pop record. They started out as acoustic demos, but over time they transitioned into pop songs.
Whether it’s folk, or country, or pop doesn’t really matter. She’s a phenomenal artist, and I’m very happy that the new record is on the horizon. And I love this:
“Infamous” by Basia Bulat
The heartache is pretty strongly worded in phrases like “Come back or don’t, but call it off”, “Don’t waste my time pretending that love is somewhere else”, “Don’t waste my time pretending at all”, “You’re going to kill the both of us”, “Are you already somewhere else”, and so on. The music is indeed a bit bigger than what we’re used to from Basia Bulat. I do like this a lot, but I hope that there’s still a bunch of autoharp and a bunch of ukulele on the record. Either way, though, we’re looking forward to the release. And to the North American tour, which will bring her close to where I live.
You can pre-order Good Advice via Secret City here. Be warned, though. It’s crazily expensive to ship to the US from Montréal, where the label is based. Hopefully, there will be US distro. Or there’s always Amazon.
Check here for her North American dates, which begin right after the album is released. You know where I’ll be on March 28.