In a world of rushed albums and Now Now Now mentality, it’s a treat to sit back and take in an album as carefully crafted, and well-produced, as Basia Bulat’s latest, Tall Tall Shadow. Much of the album, like “Promise Not to Think about Love” and “Wires,” is marked by percussion-driven catchiness, and an interesting use of guitar defines much of this album. It’s all worth sitting back and learning from if you’re into recording. These are strong songs with sophisticated instrumentation and interesting blends of sonic textures, and Bulat’s vocals do so much more than simply sing: what she does with her singing throughout the album really makes an instrument of her voice. In fact, the quieter moments on the album, like “Never Let Me Go,” are some of the strongest. They let Basia’s voice carry the songs, while some subtle background sounds come together to form moody soundscapes. Throughout the album there’s plain interesting background sounds happening that keep the album feeling fresh, new. Basia Bulat is the kind of act that’s meant to be heard live: you’ll be missing a killer show tonight if you’re not there. She plays an instrument, on some songs, that requires a miniature hammer.
“Wires” by Basia Bulat
And then there’s the fact she’s joined by Timber Timbre, a Polaris Prize nominee, critic darling, and one of the most distinct bands in the country. Their albums are eerie, unforgettable. The name, by the way (pronounced TIMber TAMber), comes from an early recording session they did in a timber-framed cabin.
“Black Water” by Timber Timbre