Basia Bulat: Fables (The Garden Version)
Haunting strings neatly complement her compelling voice.
By Kerry Doole
Basia Bulat - Fables (The Garden Version) (Secret City): The much-heralded Montreal-based singer/songwriter releases her new album, The Garden, digitally on Feb. 25 and physically on March 25. The record comprises a reimagination of songs across Bulat’s five earlier studio albums featuring Classical String-Quartet Arrangements by Polaris Prize winner Owen Pallett, Paul Frith, & Zou Zou Robidoux, and this new single is arranged and orchestrated by Roubidoux.
In a label press release, Bulat explains that “This is one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written because, as a folk singer, I have spent my adult life devoted to singing stories. Storytelling is how we understand who we are and where we come from - fables carry lessons from one generation to the next. But what do we do when part of the fable passed down to us is forgotten or mistaken? When we realize as adults that we may have been carrying on legacies that we didn’t intend or understand?"
The track is accompanied by a video directed by Bulat that juxtaposes Hi 8 Camera footage from her childhood with recently shot footage of herself and her daughter. This new version of the song is a happy marriage, with atmospheric strings complementing the purity and power of her distinctive voice, and showcasing the philosophical lyrics.
Bulat has performed concerts with small chamber ensembles and full orchestras–including the Ottawa National Arts Centre Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia– but The Garden marks her first recording in this configuration. The 16-song The Garden is co-produced by Bulat and Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Beirut), and the all-star group of instrumentalists includes Sarah Page (Arcade Fire).
The Polaris Music Prize and Juno-nominated Bulat has earned acclaim throughout her career from such elite outlets as The New Yorker, NPR Music, The New York Times, Pitchfork, WNYC, The Independent, MOJO, and Uncut, among many others. She now has an international following, and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Newport Folk Festival, and Montreux Jazz Festival. One of our brightest lights.
If the pandemic permits, she has a Feb. 18 show at Calgary's Max Bell Theatre, followed by European and UK dates in March, and Ontario and Quebec shows in April.
PR: Susan O'Grady, Take Aim Media
Management: The Art Counsel - Lisa Moran
Label: Secret City Records - Justin West
Booking (Canada): Feldman Agency -Steven Himmelfarb