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BASIA BULAT

Basia Bulat

Are You In Love?

    "Oh why didn't I just listen to myself in the first goddamn place," Basia says. Somewhere in the middle of making her fifth album, Bulat took almost a whole year off. Because she had fallen in love, because her father died, because she had lost her sense of beauty and where it might be hidden. "The desert exposes you," she admits. "There's nowhere to hide." "Throughout this whole record, I was struggling between keeping it together and letting go," she explains, "between holding onto old narratives or accepting what's before me." There was death and grief, but also forgiveness, reinvention and love: "coming to terms with the past and acceptance of the present and trying to stay open to the future."

    The result is an album that’s gorgeous and startling, quietly strange, a shining desert record with a bit of dusty rose over all its 13 tracks. Are You in Love? is searching and certain; it’s the sound of a singer who’s refusing to hide. The title track sashays like a girl-group classic; "No Control" flashes like that group’s hard stare. "Already Forgiven" ripples with reverb like a ribbon in a windstorm, whereas "Your Girl" is cruising down the highway – with Bulat doing her best Christine McVie. "Love Is At The End of the World," the album’s gradually thunderous closing tune, is one of the most thrilling things Bulat has ever created: a blazing, incandescent ever-after, all raw electric hope.


    Bulat teamed-up with friend and collaborator Jim James of My Morning Jacket on the album’s production, driving 600 miles from her home in Montreal to La La Land recording studio in James’ hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Bulat originally met James backstage at the Austin City Limits music festival; the two reconnected when she toured with him in the summer of 2013 and became friends. Good Advice is a departure from Bulat’s previous work, with her voice backed up by drums, bass, electric guitar and keys. James plays electric guitar, synth, saxophone and bass on the album; further Louisville guests including members of Houndmouth, Twin Limb, Seth Kauffman of Floating Action and more also join Bulat.

    “Pop songs can take all those big statements and those big feelings that you have,” Bulat says. “You don't need to necessarily have everything so detailed because everybody understands. Everybody understands those feelings.” “Basia has something truly unique,” says James. The duo recorded the album over several visits Bulat made to Kentucky. “I knew immediately that it was the exact right place to be,” says Bulat. “To go so far from home, then to find that it felt like home.”
    Of the sessions, James recalls, “The entire process was so amazing. Hearing her voice just exploding out of her soul brought us all to tears in the control room. Watching Basia come out of her shell with great power was an extraordinary thing to witness.”

    Good Advice follows Bulat’s critically acclaimed Juno and Polaris Music Prize-nominated 2013 release, Tall Tall Shadow, which The Line of Best Fit calls “a brilliant and engaging pop record” and the Austin Chronicle praises for its “lovely, spectral musing that balances indulgence with homespun tendencies.” In the two years since, Bulat has played shows across North America and Europe with Sufjan Stevens, Destroyer, Daniel Lanois, Bahamas and more.

    Since the release of her debut album, Oh My Darling, Bulat has shared the stage with artists including Arcade Fire, The National, Nick Cave, St. Vincent, Beirut, Andrew Bird, Tune-Yards, Sondre Lerche, The Tallest Man on Earth, The Head and the Heart, Owen Pallett, Devotchka and many more. Known for her talents on little-known instruments including the autoharp and charango, Bulat has also been tapped for tributes to Leonard Cohen and The Band.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Millie says: ‘Good Advice’ is a breath-taking album which is filled with heartache. It begins with her deep soulful voice, it’s bold and resolute then the end of the album shows us an enchanting whimsical finish (the song Someday Soon especially) It’s very emotional; you need to listen to it!


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