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Basia Bulat

Tall Tall Shadow (Secret City)

Reviewed by Abby Johnston, Fri., March 14, 2014

SXSW 2014 Records

Basia Bulat

Tall Tall Shadow (Secret City)

Canadian folksinger Basia Bulat's smoky pipes can lilt just as closely to Adele as latter-day Joni Mitchell. Her third full-length Tall Tall Shadow undulates between extremes, too, rolling radio-ready adult alternative and acoustic traditionalism. Faring better with the organic, Bulat thrives on "It Can't Be You," accompanied by a lightning-picked charango. The title track assumes the opposite corner, where otherwise knowing guidance from Arcade Fire's Tim Kingsbury and The Suburbs engineer Mark Lawson slicks over her alto and opens the album with a yawn, but the glossy production scales back quickly. These two poles meet in the middle for "Never Let Me Go," a lovely, spectral musing that balances indulgence with homespun tendencies. (8:25pm, Red Eyed Fly; Thu., St. David's Bethell Hall, 10pm)

***

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