"It’s a lot more electric..." - hmv.com talks to Basia Bulat about her new LP Good Advice
As she releases her new album Good Advice (which you can preview and purchase on the right-hand side of the page) we chatted to singer-songwriter Basia Bulat about making the LP, working with My Morning Jacket's Jim James and embracing electricity...
How did you want this album to move on from Tall Tall Shadow?
"All my albums so far have been drawn from my own experience, so in that way it’s a kind of continuation. But the most noticeable difference is that sonically it is less of a document and more of a studio creation. It’s a lot more electric, lots of keyboards, electric guitars, bass, big drums… although the autoharp and charango still sneak in there in places!"
You worked with Jim James on the album, how did that come about and what did he give you as a producer?
"I first met Jim backstage at a festival and over the past couple years we became friends. I asked him to produce the album because I really admire how he’s been able to make so many exciting records and never repeat himself, but they also all still sound very much like him. One of the best things about Jim as a producer is that he’s been on both sides of the board, so to speak, so he has a really unique understanding of what the process is like."
You recorded the album in Kentucky, what was it like working there?
"Recording the album in Louisville was so much fun - it’s a fantastic city with a lot of culture and an avowed interest in keeping things weird, and there is a very close knit musical community there. It was incredible to go to a new city and find myself so quickly part of a musical family and feeling like I belonged there."
What were you listening to during the making of the album?
"I was listening to a lot of Prince! And OMD’s Architecture and Morality. And watching old episodes of The Midnight Special."
Which of the songs on the album took the most work to get right? And which came together most instantly?
"The songs all came together fairly quickly - the first song we recorded , though was ‘Time’ and that version made it onto the album without too many additions or changes made, it was one of the fastest recordings I’d ever done and perhaps I felt a bit superstitious about tinkering with whatever kind of magic we had recorded."
Why did you decide on Good Advice as the album’s title? Were there any other titles in contention?
"The title track is really a meditation on how some of the questions we ask ourselves will never have an answer, and tries to make peace with that realization - so on an album that asks a lot of questions, it became clear that ‘Good Advice’ had to be the title."
Tell us about the cover, why did you decide on that image for the album?
"I like it because it can be interpreted in so many different ways - and I liked the idea of showing one’s hand, so to speak."
Basia Bulat's new album Good Advice is out now.