Basia Bulat – Tall Tall Shadow

Basia Bulat will release her third album Tall Tall Shadow on October 1st. She's released the title track, and I'm digging it.

As someone who wrestles with the competing urges to be exposed to a lot of new music and to spend time getting to know music well, I have plenty of artists that I come across, fall hard for a song or two, but never get to immerse in more fully. With "In The Night," Basia Bulat became one of those artists for me. I thought the song was really good, yet I never went any further to get an album, see her live, or anything else. I am hoping with this reminder in the form of a new single from a new album, I can push her toward the latter category of someone whose music I get into more deeply.

"Tall Tall Shadow" certainly makes a compelling case for Basia's merits. She has a distinct and powerful voice, that's probably the first thing a listener will notice. I don't know much about her as a lyricist, but the press release says she's writing more direct, emotional lyrics for the new album. She is succeeding on that front here in my opinion. Though it may not be autobiographical, the first person narrative strikes a chord. I really like the line "You're running away but the shadow is yours." I think a lot about the past and implications of actions and while that can be crippling if taken too far, it is important to remember what we do has consequences, especially as it concerns other people.

The music feels mature. It's not rushed or excessive, but there is a lot going on to make the song feel more momentous. The first verse and chorus are relatively sparse. The percussion comes in on verse two, light guitar on second chorus, and then it all opens for the second half of the song. The dynamics pull you in. I don't know how exactly this compares to her previous two albums, but to me it sounds confident and powerful. I can easily envision this having a broad appeal as a well-crafted song that seems to fit comfortably in a variety of contexts, and yet it also retains a personal element, too.

The album comes out October 1st on Secret City records. Preorder here.