By

Intimate Communion: The Tallest Man on Earth astounds at the TLA

The Tallest Man on Earth | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com
The Tallest Man on Earth | photo by Jeremy Zimmerman | jeremy-zim.com

“I think the first time I played here in Philadelphia — that was in 2008, opening for Bon Iver at the Trocadero — I was only this tall,” joked Kristian Matsson halfway through his set, motioning his hand at waist height. “Everyone was chattering on as they do during my set, but afterwards you were all so kind. You’re always so kind.” Matsson — known to most as The Tallest Man on Earth —has likely not grown physically all that much in the intervening eight years, the Swedish folkster’s musical career has certainly grown to towering proportions. Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Basia Bulat at Boot and Saddle, Jessy Lanza at Union Transfer, Carolyn Thorn at Bourbon and Branch, and more…

Basia Bulat
Basia Bulat | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

Canadian indie folk singer Basia Bulat performs at Boot and Saddle tonight with Twin Lamb. Bulat, who performed a Free at Noon for XPN back in January, is touring to support recently released album, Good Advice (which was produced by Jim James). For tickets and more information, check out the XPN Concert Calendar. Continue reading →

By

Free at Noon Flashback: Basia Bulat enchants a loving World Cafe Live crowd

Basia Bulat | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com
Basia Bulat | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN | cameronpollackphotography.com

For XPN’s second Free at Noon of the year, esteemed Canadian songwriter Basia Bulat came to town, promoting her upcoming Jim James-produced album Good Advice, which comes out in just under a month on Secret City Records.

Preceding this, I had heard tell from several colleagues that Bulat was a force to be reckoned with, and as such I walked into the room at World Cafe with markedly high expectations. At the start of the set, she met them with ease, and by the end, she had well exceeded them. Her sound was beautifully simple; comprised of guitar, keys/synth, bass, and drums. However, with these tools she managed to contrast her sound magnificently. Continue reading →

By

Download a World Cafe session with Toronto singer-songwriter Basia Bulat

Photo by Caroline-Desilets
Photo by Caroline-Desilets

Canadian singer-songwriter Basia Bulat visited the World Cafe last November to perform songs from her recent album, Tall Tall Shadow. Bulat was part of the World Cafe’s Sense of Place Toronto music series. During her session she performed intimate versions of songs from her recent album. Download all four songs from the session below, in exchange for your e-mail address via Noisetrade.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
By

The Week’s Best Free MP3s, incl. Basia Bulat, Sidewalk Atlas, Trophy Wife and more

 

Photo by John Vettese
Photo by John Vettese

Folkadelphia welcomed Basia Bulat into the studio for a live session last fall and premiered it this week on XPN.  The singer-songwriter performed poignant songs from both her recent Tall Tall Shadow release and her debut Oh, My Darling.  Stream and download the stripped-down performance below.

Trophy Wife stopped by for this week’s Key Studio Session.  The local genre chameleons recorded raw takes of songs that will appear on their upcoming third LP, expected later this year.  Check out the “metaphysical pondering” of “Transition” below and get the full set here.

Continue reading →

By

Folkadelphia Session: Basia Bulat

I became enamoured of Basia Bulat and her music early on during my college tenure at Drexel University while working to become a member of its student-run radio station WKDU. Bulat’s debut album Oh, My Darling, fresh off the presses, had made its way down to our basement broadcast location, coming from record label to post office to interdepartmental mail to the bin outside of our door and, finally, into my hands, placed right into a CD deck. From the whimisical ukelele opening tune “Before I Knew” to the waltzy anthem “The Pilgriming Vine,” and especially with the poppy autoharp-driven “In The Night,” I was hooked by Bulat’s sheer exhuberance, her soulful, strong voice, and melody-rich compositions (plus the video for “In The Night” is a favorite). A forged devotee, I’ve since followed her releases and tours adoringly, clinging to new music, like her sophomore release Heart Of My Own (2010) and her brilliant rendition of Sam Cooke’s “Touch The Hem Of His Garment.”

Last year, Basia Bulat released her latest album, Tall Tall Shadow, which sees her updating and enhancing her sound, experimenting with studio techniques, and adding richness and layering with new instrumentation. For my money, it’s her strongest album yet, drawing deep from the wells of acoustic folk, soul, and ’70s rock-and-roll, all heard through the prism of contemporary Canadian rock like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, and Destroyer. At the center of the album, as usual, is Bulat’s voice, providing us with an anchor, a North Star, and a soul in each song.

Before her concert at the Boot & Saddle this past October, Basia Bulat stopped by the WXPN Performance Studio to record a stripped down solo set for Folkadelphia, including songs from Tall Tall Shadow and “Little Waltz” from Oh, My Darling.

Listen and love:

By

Dreams of Dave Grohl from Tom Brosseau, a stunning session from Basia Bulat, tonight on Folkadelphia

1
Photo of Basia Bulat by John Vettese

“I keep having the same dream of Dave Grohl, the one where’s playing drums in Hole. I’ve got him wrapped in rusty chains – I think I’m supposed to free him, but I don’t have the brains,” intriguing lyrics from Tom Brosseau‘s “Favorite Color Blue” off of Posthumous Success, released in 2009, and the bait that drew me in to explore his unique songwriting gifts and five other albums.

I’ve been waiting half a decade for a new record and it has finally arrived. Grass Punks is a deceptive album, both in its seemingly minimalist approach to instrumentation and lyrical narrative, but like the iceberg effect, once you start to peer beneath the seen surface, you enter an expansive world of musicality and meaning. Brosseau is a true master of his craft.

We’re thrilled to present his Philadelphia show for this album release this Friday, February 7th at Ortlieb’s. Philadelphia’s Joey Sweeney co-headlines and Mitch Esparza (of the Love Club) supports. More information can be found here. Listen to “Cradle Your Device” from Grass Punks:

And for fun, watch him collaborate with actor/musician John C. Reilly:
Continue reading →

By

Tonight’s Concert Picks: Basia Bulat at Boot and Saddle, Aaron and the Spell at World Cafe Live, Jonathan Richman at Union Transfer and more

basiabulat
Photo by Chris La Putt | chrislaputt.com

Canadian singer/songwriter Basia Bulat performs at Boot & Saddle tonight. Bulat swings from playing autoharp to guitar to ukulele, and her resonant voice, which manages to be raw yet full, has garnered comparisons to Joni Mitchell and Stevie Nicks. For Bulat’s most recent album, Tall Tall Shadow, she co-produced with Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, who also played guitar and bass on some of the tracks. Find tickets and more information for the Boot & Saddle performance here. Download her performance of “Tall Tall Shadow” from her recent World Cafe session below.

Continue reading →

By

Watch Basia Bulat perform “Wires” for The Line of Best Fit (playing Boot & Saddle on 11/20)

Photo by David Torgal

Basia Bulat‘s next single off of her latest Tall Tall Shadows LP will be “Wires,” and she stopped by a pop up shop in London recently to record a version of the song for Best Fit Sessions.  Stripped of everything but her voice and a Casio keyboard, the video is a glimpse into what it might have looked and sounded like when Bulat was writing her album – simple, honest and intimate.  The Canadian singer-songwriter will be in town for a show at Boot & Saddle on November 20th; tickets and information can be found here.