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Basia Bulat – Wires / City with no rivers

A year and a half ago, fresh off of a relocation to New York City and an adventure in Reykjavik, Basia Bulat and I met up in a coffee shop in the East end of Toronto and plotted an adventure. We were meant to dig into the Scarborough Bluffs for a few hours, find some pretty spots and call it a day. 9 hours later, we regrouped at the Lakeview Diner and marveled at how excited we were about what had happened.

It is impossible to spend any small amount of time with Basia and not fall in love. Even before you hear the inimitable, soul-stirring voice, that soundtrack to your next heartsick episode, you experience her warmth, her presence, her utter humility. Somewhere between an espresso and a beach comb, I fell deep for that amazing woman.

Down on the lakeshore, below the bluffs, we are alone, and Basia has brought new songs and a new instrument to debut to the waves. Birds barrel roll and dive among signs of temporary teenage occupations, fire pits, cheap beer cans and amateur graffiti in a minuscule ratio to the encroaching nature. Here at the divide between the Canadian metropolis and the lake, I am treated to the first sign of life from Basia in years, and it is wholly beautiful.

Before our evening recap, we settle into a park for a serenade by streetlight. Basia is not sure she is in love with her new child. She calls it silly, something from the 50s. She delivers it, and it is the perfect accompaniment to a day in her company: a pretty song that fools you at first with its appearance, one that immediately draws you further in until you are giving more than you bargained for, and before it is over, you are changed for the better.