Keys to great­ness

Ba­sia Bu­lat in town Feb. 19

Richmond Hill Post - - Arts - By Ron John­son

“The record is about tran­si­tions re­ally,” says Toronto’s Ba­sia Bu­lat. “And for an al­bum called Good Ad­vice, there is very lit­tle ad­vice on the record.”

Bu­lat, who plays the Mod Club on Feb. 19, is some­thing of a mu­si­cal ad­ven­turer. She’s con­stantly ex­per­i­ment­ing and push­ing her­self to break new cre­ative ground with each al­bum, from her 2007 de­but Oh My Dar­ling to 2010’s Heart of My Own and her most re­cent ef­fort, the Juno Award–win­ning Tall Tall Shadow, re­leased in 2014.

Good Ad­vice could be de­scribed as Bu­lat’s most son­i­cally ad­ven­tur­ous, as well as the one that might be most pleas­ing to her mom, the pi­ano teacher. Her charm­ing auto-harp and the acous­tic gui­tar take a back seat to the keys on this one.

“It was a re­ally fun record to make,” she says. “It was a long time com­ing and some­thing re­ally dif­fer­ent for me at the same time. I grew up on pi­ano and key­boards.”

Good Ad­vice was recorded in Louisville, Ky., at La La Land Stu­dios, and is set for re­lease on Feb. 12. Twirling the di­als and drop­ping beats as pro­ducer was a fella by the name of Jim James, a pretty big deal in bands such as My Morn­ing Jacket and Mon­sters of Folk.

Bu­lat first met James while on tour in Austin, Texas.

“He’s some­body who does some­thing dif­fer­ent with ev­ery record and still sounds like him­self,” she says. “So it was a nat­u­ral and per­fect choice, also be­cause he was my friend.”

With Good Ad­vice, Bu­lat has crafted a pow­er­ful al­bum, con­sis­tent and splen­did in sound, with each song pack­ing an emo­tional wal­lop thanks to deft song­writ­ing. Al­though not preachy, Bu­lat does hope she reaches peo­ple.

“I never want to tell peo­ple how to feel, but I do hope peo­ple feel some­thing,” she says. “When­ever I’m in cloudier mo­ments, mu­sic is what helps me get through. If it even helps one per­son, then that’s great.”

Ba­sia Bu­lat’s mother taught her pi­ano

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