BASIA BULAT: Heart Of My Own


Secret City Records

Never mind the obvious differences, there’s a track on this album called “Gold Rush’ that’s a significant clue to what this collection’s all about. More than anything else, it resonates best with Neil Young’s “After The Gold Rush” in terms of scope, ambition and a unique approach to pushing the form forwards.

The tunes here are largely shaped by Bulat’s imagined idea of a mythic Yukon before she’d ever set eyes on the place and the fact they were all written on the road, a new experience for Bulat. Even the ones not overtly Yukon-influenced carry an ambience of re-imagined times and places.

The resulting collection offers a mix of delicate and rollicking nu-folk, all very heartfelt with just enough sprinkles of ‘world’ influences and all in the service of Bulat’s vocals and Autoharp. It builds on Polaris Music Prize nomintaed debut Oh, My Darling with a more daring approach with some of the finest moments on Heart Of My Own appearing when the instrumentation is peeled away to let the lady’s lush vocalising come out to play.

Check ‘Once More For The Dollhouse’ and ‘Hush’ for vocals that’ll make you shiver with a certain kind of recognition.

Other tracks like album opener ‘Go on’ and ‘Run’ power out with a solid band feel, the former largely driven by savvy drumming.

If the best of the band tracks has to be the horn-inflected ‘If Only You’, the epic ‘The Shore’ is the showstopper among the more personal, inward-looking tunes.

With Heart Of My Own Bulat has pulled off the neat and oft-elusive trick of dropping a sophomore album which not only pleases the fans of her debut but will pull in anyone with an ear for good tunes, no matter the genre label. This is folk-rock to make Neil Young a believer.

Lenny Stoute