Basia Bulat | Photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN |

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.

While she obviously finds comfort in quieter, more gentle songs and traditional-sounding folk melodies, seen in her performance of tunes like “Long Goodbye” and “La La Lie”, she also proved especially great at putting forth immense, expansive, anthemic choruses such as on “Infamous” (off “Good Advice”, playable now!). She wrapped up her set with an un-miced rendition of “It Can’t Be You”, her wildly popular song (featuring incredible charango playing) from her 2013 album Tall Tall Shadow.

This forthcoming album of Bulat’s will undoubtedly be a force to be reckoned with; it will be a response to a songwriter in pain, put forth to soothe a world in pain. Taken from Bulat’s website, written better than I ever could, “sometimes the answer to your aching heart is a song in a major key.” Take a look at some photos from the set below. Basia Bulat is on a mission to make our hearts lighter, and she’s back in Philadelphia on March 30th at Boot and Saddle; I entreat you, join her for the ride.

Long Goodbye
La La Lie
In the Name Of
Good Advice
Someday Soon

It Can’t Be You