For Basia Bulat, the upcoming LOLA Festival is a return home. The Western Masterís student is set to impress local crowds this weekend.
ďIím so excited!Ē Bulat says. ďItís going to be so fun at Victoria Park, and I think all the bands playing at LOLA are fantastic, so Iím excited to see all of them.Ē
Thereís a lot going on in the life of the Toronto native these days. Her debut album Oh, My Darling was released in Canada this past Tuesday.
ď[Recording] it was really fun. We had all our friends together, all my friends I met at Western that are in my band. We all went to Montreal together and recorded, and made a big adventure out of it. It was really fun to do it all together,Ē Bulat says.
The album evokes a whimsical, folk-like feel that could calm any room. Like her music, Bulatís a free spirit when it comes to writing and maintaining a musical style.
ďItís not necessarily a conscious decision to write. Itís very much like I have a melody and somehow these words suggest themselves to it. And so itís whatever words sound as if they belong there, sentences start sort of forming.
ďI donít really have control. I kind of realize in hindsight what a song might have been about, or what it might have been provoked by. So when it comes to a certain musical style or writer that influences me, Iím not really sure because I donít sit down and want to write a song that sounds like the The Supremes or something,Ē Bulat adds.
While the album may be new to Canada, itís been well received in Europe where it was first released.
ďWe went on a tour there ó myself and my friends. And not to sound too Pollyanna, but it was really fantastic to just sort of be able to meet new people, play for new people, meet new friends and go to all these crazy different places that you really only read about or see in pictures.Ē
Bulat lists Belfast, Brussels, and Sweden as her top stops on the tour.
ďI think my favourite places were the ones that were more sort of unexpected,Ē she explains. ďI didnít have any pre-formed ideas in my head about what it would be like. Whereas Paris you kind of have this idea of what it will be like, or London.Ē
Next up for Bulat is a cross-Canada tour with Toronto-based artist Final Fantasy.
ďWeíre going all the way to Victoria. Itís going to be crazy. I started looking up online all of these highway attractions that they have, like the Worldís Largest Pineapple, on the Trans-Canada Highway. Thatíll be my project for the tour.Ē
While Toronto is technically home, Bulat considers her return to London a long-awaited homecoming.
ďI donít get to play in London that often, so itís fun to play basically where I feel is my home. Iíve made London a sort of home for me, so I feel homesick. I didnít think when I first moved here that I would eventually feel homesick for it. Maybe itís because I had too much fun when I lived here permanently. When the van pulls into London, itíll feel like Iíve really come home.Ē
The Artist: Basia Bulat
Sounds Like: Elyse Weinberg, Leslie Feist
Fun Fact: Bulat can play the piano, guitar, autoharp, banjo, ukelele, sax, and upright bass.
Listen to: I Was a Daughter, Snakes and Ladders
Where Sheís Playing Next: Tonight at Victoria Park Mainstage at 7:15 pm as part of LOLA.