Basia Bulat – Are You In Love?: Album Review

Basia Bulat is a Canadian singer from Montreal. She is set to release her fifth album at the end of March.

Released: 27th March 2020

Label: Secret City Records

Formats: CD / LP / Digital

As I am self-isolating from the world, I am diving into the world of Basia Bulat and her soon-to-be-released fifth record.

The Canadian singer/songwriter has created an album that is soothing and quiet, but never in a way that her messages of love and grief, of self-discovery and self-acceptance, would be concealed. Basia explains that she was afraid of some of her lyrics and of what she wanted to write, but with stepping out of her comfort zone, she and Meg Remy have written poetic, relatable lyrics.

Parts of Are You In Love? were recorded and written in the Mojave desert. Jim James helped to support Basia Bulat’s songwriting, telling her to trust her instincts. It worked out well, and with the support of her husband, multi-instrumentalist, Andrew Woods, a beautiful record has been completed.

But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds. When Bulat returned from the desert to Montreal in mid-2018, the record was not finished, and she took a break from her songs. It took nine more months before she picked them up again. Basia Bulat says that she was “struggling between keeping it together and letting go.” And you can feel it here or there, but once Basia Bulat resumed work on her album – mixing and remixing it in LA, she finally got together a stunning 13-track strong record.

Songs that stand out are: Are You In Love? No Control, Light Years, and Love is at the End of the World.

Are You in Love? is the opener of the album. It pulls you right in and makes you forget the world for a moment. No Control is one of the most accessible songs, at least for me. The lyrics are about a love that is no more; the anger of being discarded and the realisation that love cannot be controlled.

Light Years looks back on the past and being far away from where you want to be. “You will still be loved, no matter how far you go,” Basia sings and tells a story we all experienced at one point in our life. There is always a safe place to return to, “no matter how far you’ve gone.” “Love is at the End of the World” closes the album. It sounds like an anthem of hope. It wraps up the journey taken and shared with Basia Bulat while listening to “Are You In Love?”.

I was left with a satisfied and serene smile on my lips, the one you can’t stop from appearing on your face when you experienced something great. If you like strong lyrics and a female voice that can convey emotions of loss and longing; of love and joy, then this record is for you.

Give it a whirl!

Basia Bulat: Bandcamp / Facebook / Twitter

You can read more from Catherine T on her own blog here. Catherine also has two poetry books available that you can get through her site.

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