Barbara Josephine Bulat, known simply as Basia Bulat (born April 13, 1984) /ˈbɒʃə buːˈlɒt/, is a Canadian folk singer-songwriter. She is known for performing with an autoharp.
Early life and education
Bulat grew up in Etobicoke, Ontario where her mother was a music teacher who taught piano and guitar. She is an honorary member of Ontario's "Polonia" Polish community. She has said the radio at home was permanently tuned to an oldies station. “I don’t think I realised the radio had more than one station until I was 11 or 12,” she says.
She attended the University of Western Ontario where she received a degree in English; she also took some classes with Olenka Krakus of the band Olenka and the Autumn Lovers. While a student there, she was coaxed by friends into opening for Julie Doiron and soon gained a local following.
Bulat released an independent EP in 2005 and was subsequently signed to Rough Trade Records, which released her full-length debut album, Oh, My Darling in April 2007. The album was later released in Canada by Hayden's Hardwood Records.
Her singles "Snakes and Ladders", "Little One" and "I Was a Daughter" have been playlisted on CBC Radio 3 while various tracks have received airplay on college radio in Canada and the United States. Her album Oh, My Darling made the short list for the 2008 Polaris Music Prize.
Bulat has toured across Canada, the U.S., Europe; in June 2008, she ventured to Australia. She played the 2008 Dawson City Music Festival in the Yukon. Bulat cited the week she spent in the quiet and remote location as an inspiration for her songwriting.
Her second album, Heart of My Own, was released by Rough Trade Records in the US and in Canada via Secret City Records on January 26, 2010.
Bulat appeared on Hockey Night in Canada on December 10, 2011, during which she sang the Canadian national anthem at an Ottawa Senators game at Scotiabank Place (now the Canadian Tire Centre).
On September 30, 2013, Bulat released her third album Tall Tall Shadow worldwide via Secret City Records. The album was nominated for a 2014 Juno Award in the Adult Alternative Album of the Year category, and was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.
The song "Tall Tall Shadow" was featured in the opening video montage on Hockey Night in Canada prior to the games between the Chicago Blackhawks and Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Montreal Canadiens and New York Islanders on December 14, 2013.
Her fourth album, Good Advice, was released on February 12, 2016, and it became a shortlisted nominee for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.
- Oh, My Darling (2007)
- Heart of My Own (2010)
- Tall Tall Shadow (2013)
- Good Advice (2016)
- Basia Bulat (2005)
- Touch the Hem of His Garment (2008, 7")
- Friends in Bellwoods II (2009): "My Heart Is a Warning"
- Ho! Ho! Ho! Canada Deux (2010): "You Are A Gift"
In popular culture
- The song "Little Waltz" was used in a 2007 Australian Volkswagen Eos advertisement.
- Her first official music video, "In the Night," was released in December 2007.
- The song "In the Night" was used on AMC's Every Night at 8 promotion for February 2008.
- The song "Before I Knew" was used in a commercial for 2010 Subaru Outback.