Vashti Bunyan – Lookaftering

It’s a special story: a folk singer who released only one album in the late 60’s, discovers that almost thirty years later people are still interested in her record, which she thought was completely forgotten. This did not only lead to a reissue of ‘Just Another Diamond Day’ in 2004, but also encouraged Vashti Bunyan to start recording again.

The result is now available from FatCat Records: the album "Lookaftering", with eleven timeless folk songs. It’s produced by Max Richter (known for his great album "Blue notebooks") and it features several interesting guest contributors. To name but a few: Joanna Newsom, Devendra Banhart and Robert Kirby (who arranged work of Nick Drake).

"Lookaftering" is filled with tranquil and intimate folky songs. They are centered around Vashti’s fragile, whispery voice, which reminds me for instance of Shirley Collins, Marianne Faithfull or even Nico. The songs are lead by picked acoustic guitar, and despite the minimal, sober feel, there is actually a rich instrumentation with piano, strings, oboe, flute, harp and many more. These elements are added only very subtly though to the intelligent arrangements.

At times the music sounds a bit too sweet for my ears, at other moments I have the right mood for these peaceful songs which leave an honest impression, not in the least through the personal and realistic lyrics. Now I’m curious if we have to wait another 35 years for the next album of this musical enigma.

artist: Vashti Bunyan
label: FatCat Records
details: 11 tracks, 2005 [FATCD38]