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Review: 'BULAT, BASIA'
'Are You In Love?'   

-  Label: 'Secret City Records'
-  Genre: 'Alt/Country' -  Release Date: '27th March 2020'

Our Rating:
"I want to make a really beautiful record about compassion" Basia Bulat wrote to My Morning Jacket’s Jim James who produced this album, as he did with the Canadian singer's previous record 'Good Advice' in 2016.

James and Bulat ventured into the romantic isolation of the Mojave Desert in search of inspiration. But, although this provided the space to jam and bond with her band, when Bulat returned home to Montreal the record was still not finished.

It took almost a year before she could even bear to hear her own voice; “Throughout this whole record, I was struggling between keeping it together and letting go” she explains.

Marriage to multi-instrumentalist Andrew Woods (who plays keyboards on the record) and grieving for her father were other distractions.

Fortunately, all blocks were overcome so that ' Are You In Love?' could see the light of day. The resulting disc is not quite as dramatic as the background story, but Bulat does possess the kind of impassioned voice that convinces the listener that going through the motions is never an option for her.

You get the impression that there's both joy and sorrow behind the songs. The melodies are strong but even though a song like Your Girl
is catchy, she's not aiming for breezy superficiality.

In tunes such as Electric Roses, No Control and Already Forgiven you feel the sense of cathartic release with a conviction that heartache should not be permanent.

“Stories fail you when you’re grown” she sings on Fables but this is an album that resolutely addresses hope rather than despondency.

Basia Bulat's website
  author: Martin Raybould

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BULAT, BASIA - Are You In Love?