Keys to greatness
Basia Bulat in town Feb. 19
“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