Basia Bulat

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Basia Bulat
Bulat, Basia (2008) 1.jpg
Bulat performing with her autoharp in 2008
Background information
Birth name Barbara Josephine Bulat
Born (1984-04-13) April 13, 1984 (age 33)
Toronto, Ontario
Origin London, Ontario
Genres Folk
Occupation(s) Musician, songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, autoharp, hammered dulcimer, piano, ukulele, charango
Years active 2004–present
Labels Rough Trade, Hardwood, Secret City

Barbara Josephine Bulat, known simply as Basia Bulat (born April 13, 1984) /ˈbɒʃə bˈlɒt/,[1][2] is a Canadian folk singer-songwriter. She is known for performing with an autoharp.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Bulat grew up in Etobicoke, Ontario[2] where her mother was a music teacher[4] who taught piano and guitar. She is of Polish origin and a proud member of the Canadian Polonia.[5] She has said the radio at home was permanently tuned to an oldies station.[6] “I don’t think I realised the radio had more than one station until I was 11 or 12,” she says.[7]

She attended the University of Western Ontario where she received a degree in English;[8] she also took some classes with Olenka Krakus of the band Olenka and the Autumn Lovers.[9] While a student there, she was coaxed by friends into opening for Julie Doiron[10] and soon gained a local following.[2]


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.[11]

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.[12]

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.[13]

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).[14]

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,[15] and was a shortlisted nominee for the 2014 Polaris Music Prize.[16]

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.[17]

Her fourth album, Good Advice, was released on February 12, 2016, and it became a shortlisted nominee for the 2016 Polaris Music Prize.[18]


Studio albums[edit]


  • Basia Bulat (2005)


  • Touch the Hem of His Garment (2008, 7")


In popular culture[edit]

  • 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.[19]
  • The song "Before I Knew" was used in a commercial for 2010 Subaru Outback.


  1. ^ Harewood, Adrian (18 January 2008). "Basia Bulat interview". All in a Day. CBO-FM (CBC Radio One Ottawa). 
  2. ^ a b c Reaney, James (29 January 2010). "A Heart at home: Basia Bulat’s second album, Heart of My Own, is earning raves". London Free Press. Retrieved 2010-04-20. 
  3. ^ "CANOE -- JAM! Music - Artists - Bulat, Basia: Basia Bulat keeping autoharp alive". Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  4. ^ Denis Armstrong (2009-09-10). "Basia Bulat found heart on road". Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  5. ^ Doole, Kerry (5 February 2014). "Basia Bulat". SOCAN. Retrieved 2017-04-05. 
  6. ^ Alexander Varty (2007-10-18). "Beautiful Basia Bulat is the real thing". Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Western students among nominees in CHRW album contest". 2007-12-05. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  9. ^ "Feature Interview: Basia Bulat". Ca Va Cool, January 24, 2010.
  10. ^ " - Music - Basia Bulat". Archived from the original on 2009-02-16. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  11. ^ "CBC News - Music - The final 10". 2008-07-07. Archived from the original on December 1, 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-01. 
  12. ^ Rabinovitch, Simona. "Basia Bulat Finds Inspiration in Silence of Canadian North". Spinner. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Basia Bulat Second Album Set For January Release" Archived 2011-06-07 at the Wayback Machine.., September 17, 2009.
  14. ^ "Ottawa Senators Official Website". Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  15. ^ "2014 Juno Award Nominees" (PDF). 2014-02-04. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  16. ^ "Arcade Fire, Drake, Shad make Polaris Music Prize short list". CTV News, July 15, 2014.
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ "Basia Bulat Announces 'Good Advice' LP, Enlists My Morning Jacket's Jim James to Produce". Exclaim!, October 29, 2015.
  19. ^ AMC » Music From Every Night at 8 » Basia Bulat Archived March 12, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]