Monday, June 25, 2012

Pitstop: Basia Bulat


I'm a little ashamed that it took me about 2 years to even mention Canadian singer/songwriter Basia Bulat. I was reintroduced to her Saturday night as she was one of the two splendid openers at Bowerbirds Music Hall of Williamburg show. Before having watched her play a Tiny Desk concert on NPR and before that randomly stumbling upon her at Central Park Summerstage as she opened up for St. Vincent along with tUnE-yArDs. And while I more or less missed her whole set at Summerstage due to getting lost and being unable to find the stage for an embarrassingly length of time, the sounds of her autoharp are ultimately what led me and a friend safely to the show.

While Basia has two albums out at present, Oh, My Darling and Heart of My Own, Basia is probably best experienced live. There you'll witness her skill with a variety of folk instruments; the aforementioned autoharp, hammered dulcimer, guitar, and even a small lute/ukulele-like instrument called the charango. All of these Basia plays with nimble fingers you have to see to believe all the while belting out an utterly captivating array of tunes with an absolutely demolishing amount of vocal power. While Bulat normally plays with a band, this time she went solo and the result were far more impressive I'm sure. More than holding her own as she accompanied herself flawlessly. 

Basia Bulat's live set is transportive, magical, and awe-inspiring as she proves herself a more than competent storyteller, spinning tales which whether real or not carry a deeply emotional resonance. While this feat is also achieved quite masterfully on her albums, it's the unbridled energy unleashed at just the right moments that hit you sorely in the heart and make you weak in the knees.   

Basia Bulat is currently putting the finish touches on her latest full-length record and I for one couldn't be more excited. Whether or not it incorporates more of her live energy, throws in an even more eclectic mix of instruments, or is even just more of the same, it's bound to be a good. And will be more of a reason for her to bring her enchanting live show to a city near you so do yourself a favor an start acquainting yourself now so you don't regret missing out. 

Until then you can listen to her two previous albums Oh, My Darling and Heart of My Own on Spotify.

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