When fireside-voiced Canadian singer Basia Bulat first gathered critical laurels, she was rather new to her 20s. And though she clutched an autoharp to her chest or stood above a dulcimer with hammers in hand, her music felt young and a touch nave, as though those antediluvian instruments hid her innocence from the bustle and bruise of modernity. Bulat is now on the cusp of 30, though, and her third and best album to date, the new Tall Tall Shadow, is defiant and demanding. She tells lovers not to leave and asks difficult questions, chides the mercury of her own heart and feels rushed by the seemingly new march of time. Recorded with a member of and another collaborator to The Arcade Fire, the album also steps far afield of Bulat's former folk comfort zone, with alternating palettes of synthesizers, drum machines and phosphorescent rock outfits pushing her songs into the present. Bulat is newly ready for the future. She doesn't forsake her foundation; she's just doing more than sweeping its dirt floor.
—Grayson Haver Currin