Basia Bulat’s beautiful fifth album "Are You in Love?" was released last month. These songs have certainly been keeping us company lately, so we sent Basia a few questions to hear more about the recording process, and hear what love means to her.
Tell us about recording in Joshua Tree - did anything special happen to you while there?
Every day in Joshua Tree felt so special and unique - but a few days after my first recording session ended there was a day of snow flurries in the desert, which was really surreal and magical. Of course I had never seen anything like it before so I was curious to read about it.. and then I read that these snowfalls and deep freezes are what Joshua Trees require to flower. It felt like a very auspicious moment and a good omen for the recording.
Where is your favourite place to write music?
My favourite place is still, after all these years, my mom’s basement! It’s got the classic 1970s wood panelling, and a lot of good energy built up in there from years of high school band practices... Writing in Joshua Tree was a whole other feeling and experience and I miss it a lot. I also love writing in my studio room here in Montreal, which has really deep blue walls and has a lovely submarine subconscious energy that’s good for writing too.
Do you have a favourite moment on Are you in Love?
I think the song “Love is at the End of the World” has really become my favourite moment musically and lyrically - sonically it feels the most like being in the desert… the calm of the day with the sun overhead, and then the dramatic change from day to night when the stars come out and the desert really comes alive. Lyrically it’s a meditation I wrote for myself when I was in a deep depressive state - a reminder to myself of all the ways love and the people I love got me through it, and a promise to myself that I would always choose love over fear or despair.
What does the word “love” mean to you?
This is remarkably the first time anyone’s asked me this question! And it’s why I wrote the title song of “Are You in Love?” - because this question, and the answer, can change and have different meanings to us, but somehow we always know what it is when we feel it.
Photo by Richmond Lam.
Basia Bulat will play Théâtre Fairmount on November 12th, 2020. Tickets here.