Basia Bulat, Foreign Fields | Schubas | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader
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Basia Bulat, Foreign Fields 

When: Thu., Nov. 7, 9 p.m. 2013
Price: $13
Previous albums from Ontario singer Basia Bulat have felt restrained and intimate, with Autoharp, banjo, acoustic guitar, and fiddle forming the core of her pop sound. On her recent third full-length, Tall Tall Shadow (Secret City), she’s much more extroverted: she goes for slicker, more commercial production, leaning harder on the “rock” half of “folk-rock,” and her grainy, agile voice calls on the reserves of power it’s always had in order to keep up. The title track get an anthemic drive from propulsive piano and aggressive drums, and “Someone” unexpectedly introduces simmering programmed club beats beneath its chattering Wurlitzer keyboard. Even on “It Can’t Be You,” where she accompanies herself only with glassy arpeggios on charango, her singing is newly demonstrative. Bulat’s lyrics, however, remain introspective—she talks about the internal intricacies of relationships as if she’s thinking out loud, despite addressing a “you” in all but one tune. She handles her new, bigger sound easily, but I have to admit, I prefer her lovely voice in more delicate settings. —Peter Margasak Foreign Fields open.

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