Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Basia Bulat - In The Night EP

Basia Bulat hails from Ontario and has been creating beautifully crafted folk-pop for a good few years now, with very little recognition. Having released an album last year entitled Oh, My Darling, she returns this year with an EP comprising of a new number In The Night, as well as a reworked version of an album track, Before I Knew, and a cover of fifties soul legend Sam Cooke’s Touch The Hem Of His Garment. Bulat is endowed with a voice that immerses the soul, gossamer soft and encompassing, yet shot through with a steel-like strength that winds around the hubbub of the thick folk instrumentation of her band, to gently waver, bird-like, at the ends of phrases.

There’s something gloriously organic about Basia Bulat’s music, which she purports to have found ‘dangling from the trees’. In The Night is a midnight musical stomp through the woods (check out the video): upbeat and somewhat anthemic, it’s definitely a grower. Meanwhile percussion and pace have been added to first-love-song Before I Knew to make a grander sound that overwhelms after hearing the beguiling ukulele-beauty of the album version. Touch The Hem is a different vein for Bulat, showcasing soulful vocal capabilities that carry the simple piano-chug of this old soul song into the realm of chamber-pop. Though enchanting, these EP tracks are still not a patch on the best songs of the album; an indication, perhaps, of Bulat’s singular talent.

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