Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Basia Bulat 

Oh, My Darling (Rough Trade America)

Wednesday, Feb 13 2008
Comments

Think of Basia Bulat as one woman's answer to Antony and the Johnsons. The honeyed melodies and romantic melancholia contrived by the Canadian songwriter echo New York's premier chamber crooner in cinematic peaks and minimal valleys. Her song "Snakes and Ladders" glides along to classy piano arpeggios and cello counterpoints while she sounds hesitant, wondering in a nervous vibrato, "Who believes in fate anyway?" But Bulat's debut — released in Canada and the U.K. last year and in the U.S. earlier this month — doesn't carry the mope as heavily as Antony does, and is all the better for it. Moreover, it contrasts the lovelorn moments with a tremendous sense of joy conveyed through stirring uptempo numbers. "I Was a Daughter" leaps out of the speakers on the power of its fluttering 16th-note handclaps; "In the Night" may be indie music's first autoharp anthem. These exploratory, adventurous songs swell around miniature orchestral arrangements, not unlike the work Marla Hansen has crafted since striking out from Sufjan Stevens' band. On her less inspired moments (the jazz-licky "Why Can't It Be Mine"), Bulat sounds like late-era Beth Orton: languid, dull, but otherwise inoffensive. When she's on, she has the potential to make hearts melt and soar as easily as Antony.

About The Author

John Vettese

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Slideshows

  • Jack White at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
    Jack White and his band performed at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Friday and Saturday nights in front of sold out audiences. Jack entertained his fans with music that included songs from his days with The White Stripes, and The Raconteurs, as well as hits from his solo albums; Blunderbuss and Lazaretto. Photography by Sugarwolf.
  • San Francisco Street Food Festival 2014
    The San Francisco Street Food Festival was another success this year. Dozens of vendors with original, unheard-of creations, such as deep fried mac and cheese on a stick, black pea paste pancakes, and Korean quesadillas. Then there was the comfort foods we've grown accustomed to, like creme bruleé, shrimp rolls, and pound cake. Photographs by Mabel Jimenez.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular