Basia Bulat is a singer-songwriter who lives in Montreal, Canada. Over the course of five albums, she has brought together an intrinsic contemporary sound with a love of classic folk, country and R&B songwriting. Her first two albums, the folk-music-tinted Oh, My Darling (2007) and Heart of My Own (2010) were recorded in analogue with punk-rock producer Howard Bilerman; 2004’s Tall Tall Shadow, exploring friendship and grief, was made with Mark Lawson and Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury; 2016’s Good Advice—a break-up album—and 2019’s Are You in Love? were produced in Kentucky and Joshua Tree (respectively) with My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James. In addition to her powerhouse voice, Bulat is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist, recording and performing on electric guitar, piano, autoharp, ukulele, bass and charango.
Bulat is a three-time Polaris Music Prize finalist and has been nominated for three Juno Awards. In 2012, she performed for Leonard Cohen at Massey Hall’s Glenn Gould Prize Gala; she later appeared at the musician’s official memorial concert, playing “Coming Back to You” with Leonard’s son Adam. In 2014, she headlined her own Massey Hall gig, and in recent years she has also been selected to perform at landmark events such as New York’s annual Tibet House benefit concert, Montreux Jazz Festival, and the Newport Folk Festival. As a touring artist, she has shared stages with acts including Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, The National, Arcade Fire, Daniel Lanois, St Vincent, Sufjan Stevens and Destroyer; she made her NPR Tiny Desk Concert debut in 2011. In 2010, Bulat’s music was arranged for symphony orchestra by Owen Pallett and she has performed with classical ensembles including Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, and Halifax Symphony Orchestra.
The daughter of Polish émigrés, Bulat was born and raised in Toronto’s Etobicoke neighbourhood and grew up listening to her mother’s piano students. She attended university in London, Ontario and settled in Montreal in 2014.
Across Stay In Touch, Georgia Harmer captures ineffable moments with expressive detail: the euphoric memory of a summer’s day so perfect you want to live inside it forever, the dusty heat of a Texas afternoon, a tingle of melancholy on a solo walk home after a party. With a wisdom and poise that belies her youthful age, Harmer has penned an emotionally resonant collection of songs that articulate the ways in which even the most fleeting experiences can forge bonds between strangers, create families out of friends, and one by one form the joys and sorrows that make up a life.
Harmer has been making music since childhood, recording her own songs since age 10. She hails from an artistic family, including her aunt and labelmate Sarah Harmer (Georgia’s parents, both professional musicians, met while playing in Sarah’s band). While still a teenager, she hit the road as a backing vocalist for Alessia Cara, touring and playing late night TV for many months. But when it came time to make her own album, Harmer knew she needed to find her own people. After dropping out of university to pursue music full-time, Harmer began jamming with jazz students at Humber College in Toronto; guitarist Dylan Burchell, drummer Julian Psihogios, and bassist David Maclean, and engineer/producer Jasper Smith assembled to record at ArtHaus in Dufferin Grove. “It was nice because we could just play how we’re used to playing, crammed in a room together, and capture the natural feeling of that.” Smith didn’t tell Harmer that he had never engineered a record before until after it was complete.
Stay In Touch spans everything from intimate folk and strummy country to sophisticated jazz and pop-kissed rock. Harmer and her band created musical landscapes that live up to the lyrical richness of the songs. The record sparkles with the lightning in a bottle feel of a band in thrall to their musical chemistry, adding more depth to the record’s themes. Stay In Touch is inspired both by the relationships of Harmer’s past and the joy of finding your people in the here and now. It’s an unforgettable statement from a new artist with a heartbreakingly simple message: when you stay in touch with the experiences that have shaped you, you stay in touch with yourself.
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