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  • Writer's pictureThe Sound Cafe

Montreal's Basia Bulat Shares 'Fables (The Garden Version)' From Forthcoming Album

Montreal’s Basia Bulat shares “Fables (The Garden Version),” the breathtaking, deeply stirring second single arranged and orchestrated by Zou Zou Roubidoux and from her forthcoming album The Garden, out digitally February 25th and physically March 25th, via Secret City Records.

The track arrives alongside a video directed by Bulat that juxtaposes Hi 8 Camera footage from her childhood with recently shot footage of herself and her daughter. “This is one of my favourite songs I’ve ever written because, as a folk singer, I have spent my adult life devoted to singing stories,” explains Bulat. “Storytelling is how we understand who we are and where we come from - fables carry lessons from one generation to the next. But what do we do when part of the fable passed down to us is forgotten or mistaken? When we realize as adults that we may have been carrying on legacies that we didn’t intend or understand? Sometimes the stories we learned in childhood about ourselves and our homes are remnants from a past that cannot answer the questions we have in the present. We can’t change or save anyone with the stories we’ve carried with us, but they remind us to be bold enough to meet one another in the moment we have now with truth and love.” A reimagination of songs across Bulat’s five studio albums with stunning classical string quartet arrangements by Owen Pallett, Paul Frith, and Robidoux, The Garden is available for pre-order HERE.

Of the video, Bulat adds: “I wrote ‘Fables’ as both an ode to childhood and to the more difficult truths of adulthood, so when I came across some lovely old footage my mother filmed during a snow day, I was inspired to sing back to that time and see what might happen if I filmed it. Millefiore Clarkes and I were lucky enough to catch the sunlight and calm the day after a huge blizzard came through on Prince Edward Island. It felt very emotional watching the footage back to back, across years and seasons, recreating what felt like a childhood fable I had forgotten about in a new era of my life.”

While she has been known to play live with small chamber ensembles and full orchestras –including the Ottawa National Arts Centre Orchestra and Symphony Nova Scotia – The Garden marks Bulat’s first recording to capture this spellbinding configuration, which further showcases her singular voice and timeless songwriting. Across the 16 songs, produced by herself and Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire, Beirut), she gives a new life to beloved originals alongside a handpicked group of string players (violinists John Corban and Tomo Newton, violist Jen Thiessen, harpist Sarah Page, along with Robidoux on cello), as well as bandmates Andrew Woods and Ben Whiteley on guitar and bass, respectively. “Fables (The Garden Version)” follows “The Garden (The Garden Version),” which earned praise and support from NPR Music’s All Songs Considered, Consequence, Brooklyn Vegan, Under the Radar, and more.

The Garden fits within a storied history of artists revisiting their songs over time and for Bulat, the album was a chance to record anew select songs whose meanings have shifted from when she originally composed them. Distance teaches, and reveals: "I sing the songs differently now," she says. "It's the gift of time." While creating The Garden, Bulat had just found out she was expecting her first child, which she revealed to her collaborators in the midst of recording, down a wire from the vocal booth. A song can change shape, turning new leaves and growing new blooms, in life’s unexpected seasons.

The Polaris Music Prize and Juno-nominated Bulat has earned acclaim throughout her career from The New Yorker, NPR Music, The New York Times, Pitchfork, WNYC, The Independent, MOJO, and Uncut, among many others. Bulat has toured extensively around the world, gracing such stages and festivals as Carnegie Hall, Newport Folk Festival, and Montreux Jazz Festival.

Basia Bulat Live Dates:

03/21 – London, UK @ Omeara

03/22 – Bristol, UK @ Rough Trade

03/24 – Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast

03/25 – Manchester, UK @ YES (The Basement)


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