In The Night
I am not someone who claims to be one of the cool kids, or who has my finger so firmly on the pulse that my knuckle is white, therefore I have only recently heard of Basia Bulat. This is something of a travesty, but is actually rather well timed, seeing as she will be releasing her album Oh My Darling globally on 5th February (it was released, by Rough Trade, in Europe in April 2007, but Bulat has finally got herself a Canadian label).
What is it with the Canadian music scene at the moment? There's SO much great music coming out of there. Ok, so it's a big country, but 2007 saw more 'breakthrough' artists than certainly I have ever known about before...at long last proving that the country is not 'past' its Leonard Cohens, Joni Mitchells and Neil Youngs, and still has more to offer than Bryan Adams!
So, as you may have guessed by now, Basia Bulat (the name is Polish) is another one; she grew up in Toronto (Etobicoke to be precise) and is now based in London (Ontario, that is, not UK). She grew up listening to the local 'oldies' radio station, imbibing Stax and Motown, The Beatles and The Beach Boys. And in some ways her music does sound a little as if it's from another time. By another token, this sits merrily in amongst the recent swash of female singer-songwriters (think Laura Veirs gorged on happy pills)...but still manages to add something new to the field.
24 year old Bulat released her first, self-titled, EP in 2005 and when recording her most recent offering never intended for it to become a formal release. Whilst this is more throaty-voiced, vibrato, female folk-pop, lumping her in with 'the rest' may not be fair...Ms Bulat can play the piano, banjo, autoharp, double bass, guitar, ukelele, saxophone and flute...she is definitely not without talent, and I reckon that she is set to become a Feist-esque household name.