Barbara Josephine Bulat, or as she’s more famously known, Basia Bulat is a folk singer-songwriter from Ontario, Canada. She attended the University of Western Ontario and it is during that period that she started gaining a local following for her music. In 2005 she independently released a self-titled EP that gained the attention of label Rough Trade Records who eventually signed her and launched her second EP in 2007 titled Oh, My Darling. Over her 16 year musical career, she has worked with different labels and producers. Now, Bulat’s latest venture is her fifth studio album called Are You In Love?
Are You In Love? opens on the album’s namesake and already showcases Bulat’s unique and dreamy sound. Her vocals range from deep sounding soul to slight country-twang and while those two sounds are quite contrary, she melds them together beautifully. The ballad sounds very reminiscent of Adele’s style, with stellar vocals and expressive lyrics like, “first comes your fear/ your laughter and tears/ then you shout/ when you need a name for your doubt,” and, “now that it’s happening/ could it be like your visions of destiny?/ golden sunset you saw/ on a silver screen.”
We hear a bit more of an eclectic sound on track “Electric Roses” with a tranquil, electric guitar filled melody that fits well into the indie world with its whimsical beat and vivid lyrics. Another song with that classic indie sound is “Your Girl,” with its subtle ’80s flair and raw vocals.
Bulat’s country and folk influence really shine throughout the album, but especially on a track like “Pale Blue.” While the melody is very soft pop-esque, the vocals and delicate storytelling are truly country. “Running from the rain/ begging him to stay/ running from the pale blue glow” are just some examples of her pretty and descriptive songwriting. More of the folk vibe comes out in “Homesick” with the old-school country acoustics and more nostalgic lyrics like, “every time I hear it I get homesick/ the empty trees/ swinging in the breeze,” and, “dead printed leaves/ blowing down my street/ someone telling me I was lost/ and now I’m found.”
Are You In Love? captures Bulat’s one-of-a-kind sound perfectly. The country-folk vibe with hints of indie influence and R&B style vocals all wrapped up in poignant lyrics. The album exemplifies how timeless and beautiful her music is.