Joining the Ranks
Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat has released Good Advice, a decidedly more accessible and up-tempo record in comparison to her most recent 2013 release Tall Tall Shadow. Bulat originally garnered attention from the public due to her rich, soulful vocals and skillfully penned lyrics, and Good Advice continues this trend of success, and in addition boasting impressively crisp and clean production and heaps of soulful affectation, resulting in a step up from Bulat’s previous discography. Good Advice is a valiant record, reminiscent of the erratic and off-kilter sounds of Empress Of, or even Feist.
“Long Goodbye” is undoubtedly one of the standout tracks off of Good Advice, boldly separating itself from the pack with its droning organ chords and uncharacteristically quick drum beats. “Let Me In” and “La La Lie” possess these same qualities as well, elevating the status of Good Advice from anthemic singer-songwriter album to an eccentric and slightly off-beat collection of pop songs. The element that really takes Good Advice over the top is the carefully crafted droning synthesizer chords, often possessing an ancient organ-like timbre.
Basia Bulat’s alto voice is without a doubt the glue that holds the resonating bass and synth riffs of Good Advice together. It sounds queerly Scandinavian, putting across the impression that she’s European, rather than Canadian. She croons with textbook perfect pitch in a voice both increasingly mellow and pleasingly soulful. There’s something about Good Advice that oozes effortlessness, whether it be Bulat’s easygoing vocal affectation or the drawling bass lines and drawn-out keyboard chords. No matter what the predominately contributing factor may be, it results in a surprisingly cohesive and well-executed album that is truly a velvety and soothing auditory treat. It’s proving to be the year of the female pop powerhouse, and it won’t be long before Basia Bulat joins the ranks of the greats.