Basia Bulat

Good Advice

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Basia Bulat teamed-up with friend and collaborator Jim James of My Morning Jacket on the album’s production. Good Advice is a departure from Bulat’s previous work, with her voice backed up by drums, bass, electric guitar and keys.

Good Advice is the fourth album by Juno and Polaris Music Prize nominated artist Basia Bulat. Here are the track-by-track comments by Basia Bulat:La La...

Good Advice is the fourth album by Juno and Polaris Music Prize nominated artist Basia Bulat. Here are the track-by-track comments by Basia Bulat:

La La Lie

I like this song as the opening tracka bit like a narrative that opens in medias res, so to speak. Its a danceable record about doubt and loss and freeing yourself all at once and I was trying to convey all those things in the song. A lot of the lyrics on this album are about a conflict between logic and feeling, and I love that in the studio we were able to do that in an almost gleefully demonic way.

 

Long Goodbye

Though not a specific reference to the Raymond Chandler novel, I was reading it at the time of writing the song and I am a big fan of his books! This was a really fun song to sing and to play in studioI had originally written it (and most of the songs on the album) slower and more acoustic, so to watch it grow up to be bright and fun was really exciting. I love Jims bass playing on this song, he really brought the funk.

 

Let Me In

I wrote this song while I was in Sweden on a bit of a writing holiday on the island of Gotland. The owner of a recording studio on the island had kindly let me use the space to work on new songs and one night I had locked myself out by accident but had a small battery-powered synthesizer with me. I ended up writing the song really quickly as a silly little thing but then got attached to it and realized it should be on the album.

 

In The Name Of

This song was one of the most difficult to write and sing when I would practice itwriting it helped me to realize a lot of things I was trying to change in my life. When I was in Louisville I had the chance to go to a gospel church and listen to the most beautiful voices Ive ever heard, the most powerful and positive energy ringing through the room and in my ears long after I left, and we recorded the vocals for the song that day. All the backing vocals on the album are performed by an incredible group of talented women from Louisville and really bring a special energy to the song. Jim plays synth bass and electric guitar on this onethe guitar solo is one of my favourite moments on the album.

 

Time

This was the first song we recorded for the record. I was visiting my mother and borrowed her car to drive to Kentucky, pretty much went straight into the studio, and Jim and Dave (the drummer on the album) and I played this song firstwithin a couple hours had the song nearly done. I think we used the original vocal take, too! We added strings, guitar and autoharp afterwards but most of it was done live off the floorI love that the song starts really free, floating and open and slowly turns into something frozen in time.

 

Good Advice

Most of the songs on the album dont pretend to offer any advice at all, but rather ask a lot of questions. I wrote the songs in a time of questioning myself, on decisions I had made, on the path I was on, and Good Advice is one of the only moments that presents any kind of answerIm not asking to be pardoned for things I havent done, and some questions Ill never be able to answer. Its a kind of liberation from all the questioning. In so many of the songs there is a battle between reason and emotion, and I let emotion take over on this one.

 

Infamous

This song is about asking someone to make up their mind, while at the same time realizing you already know that your time together is upand about the possibility and potential of what you could be. I think its the saddest lyrics Ive ever written while also being one of the happiest melodies Ive ever written. When it was time to sing the lyrics for this song I remember coming in to the control room to hear the playback and everyone in the room was in tears! I think because of all the contrasts it becomes a very triumphant, defiant thing.

 

Fool

I originally wrote this song to be a slow country-ish ballad on acoustic guitar, and on the record it feels like we dressed it up for a night at the disco! And it has a Fleetwood Mac kind of feel that I really love. I grew up playing piano as my first instrument so on this album it was really fun to return to it as my main instrument for the record, and on Fool I managed to sneak in five different keyboard parts. The studio we recorded at in Louisville is called La La Land, and they had an RMI Electra-Piano, which was a keyboard made by a North Carolina-based company popular with a lot of prog bands in the 70s. I fell in love with it completely and its on nearly every song on the record, including this one.

 

The Garden

This is my favourite song on the album, if I can be allowed to pick a favourite. I wanted there to be as many moments of hope and love on the album as there were of questioning and doubt and fear. I love the dreaming, almost freeform quality the song took on and I love Jims saxophone solo coming from another galaxy.

 

Someday Soon

Something Jim and I talked about was how a lot of the songs feel like fireworks on the 4th of Julytheres space and darkness and emptiness and then there are moments of brightness, intensity and beauty too. Recording this album felt a bit like we were about to take off into that sky and have a closer look at the starsand I feel like this song is the most celestial on the record. I wanted to remind myself that all things must pass and find a way to celebrate that. I wanted emotion to have the last word.

Product Details

WAV Files
16-bit/44.1k
MP3 Files
320 kbps
Label
Secret City Records

Production Credits

Producers
Jim James
Mixing
Kevin Ratterman
Mastering
Harris Newman

Musicians

Basia Bulat
Vocals / RMI Electra Piano / Organ / Electric Guitar / Synthesizer / Mellotron / Pump Organ
Dave Givan
Drums/ Percussion
Jim James
RMI Electra Piano / Kee Bass / Bass Guitar / Mellotron / Synthesizer / Electric Guitar / Saxophone
Seth Kauffman
Bass Guitar / Electric Guitar
Kevin Ratterman
Electric Guitar
Sarah Teeple
Backing vocals
Cher Von
Backing vocals
Katie Toupin
Backing vocals
Lacey Guthrie
Backing Vocals
MaryLiz Bender
Backing Vocals
Scott Moore
Violin
Charlie Patton
Cello

Composition Credits

All songs written and composed by
Basia Bulat