File under: soul music. On her fourth studio album, Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat's heart bursts open and out pours spirited, feel-good pop about the emotional rollercoaster that is surviving a romantic break-up.
Like her Polaris-shortlisted and Juno-nominated 2013 album Tall, Tall Shadow, Good Advice deals frankly and intimately with loss. Musically, it also continues Bulat's exploration of electronic sounds over folk storytelling. This time, keyboards of various eras and moods dominate, from the opening notes of "La, La, Lie" to the plucky ballad "Time," which features vintage Hammond Novachord (recorded at the National Music Centre in Calgary, which houses the rare instrument); Mellotron haunts the cinematic closer "Someday Soon." Producer Jim James (of My Morning Jacket) brings the same balance to the soundscapes Bulat maintains with her lyrics, positioning the space-age synths and backup harmonies in ways that invoke both gospel and girl group traditions without overshadowing the album's strongest suit: Bulat's vibrant vocals.
Good Advice is a beauty from start to finish. (Secret City)