Artist of the Week: Basia Bulat
When describing current Artist of the Week Basia Bulat, Eye Weekly said it best: “Forget genres and influences; the one overriding quality of Bulat’s music is her passion.” It’s undeniable that Bulat has a whole lot of heart, the whole of which she puts into creating her unique style of folk tunes that truly speak to the listener.
Bulat became a notable member of London, Ontario’s music scene during her time at the University of Western Ontario, attracting much attention and releasing her debut full-length album Oh, My Darling (which was short-listed for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize). Since moving back to Toronto, she has been touring (she’s currently in Europe before heading to the U.S. for more tour dates!), writing and recording nearly constantly (her sophomore album Heart of My Own was released this past January, and subsequently long-listed for the 2010 Polaris Music Prize).
Bulat’s heart has reached further than her music alone though, shown by her involvement in the Friends in Bellwoods 2 compilation, with all proceeds going to Toronto’s Daily Bread Food Bank (more than $17,000.00 has been raised to date). Her song from the compilation, “My Heart Is A Warning,” is also featured in tonight’s episode of Rookie Blue in hopes of attracting more attention to the album and its cause.
“Her voice is the thickness of Amy Winehouse, the sensitivity of Feist, the power-poetry of Ani DiFranco, and the vocal quirkiness of Alanis Morissette.”
Similar to: Feist, Serena Ryder, Laura Marling
“While Bulat’s versatility’s a selling point, it’s her rare, extraordinary voice that makes her a fresh find in the notoriously musty folk-pop bin. Graceful and incandescent, confident but approachable, her alto’s the aural equivalent of the perfect party host who makes every guest not only welcome, but certain they’re the most important person in the room…Bulat’s shown an affinity for gospel in the past, covering Sam Cooke’s “Touch the Hem of His Garment” live, and I had to doublecheck that the soul-baring, organ-burred album closer, “If It Rains”, isn’t a traditional praise song (nope, Bulat wrote it). Because her voice, all on its own, sells the material with such bolded, exclamation-pointed certainty that she might as well be singing amens.”
“I’d never write about someone whose work I didn’t enjoy. Sometimes, though, you want to reach up through the newsprint and shake the reader by the shoulders until they’re as excited as you are. Of all the things to admire about Basia Bulat — and there are plenty, not least the wicked wit that keeps threatening to get us chucked out of this quiet café for laughing too hard — I never stop marvelling at her voice.”
— Eye Weekly
Learn More about the Friends In Bellwoods Compilations
Watch Basia’s video for “In The Night”
Watch Basia perform “Go On”
Follow Basia on Twitter
‘Like’ Basia on Facebook