Thursday, 10 April 2008

"I'd sing my songs and find out just what they mean to you"

It's late, I'm tired, I've got a headache, so the artist I've been planning to blog about is just perfect for such a time. Listening to Vashti Bunyan is like having someone whisper a lullabye in your ear. When I tell you to crank your stereo up for this one, it's so you can actually hear her singing. Vashti Bunyan's music reminds me of those girls with faraway looks in their eyes, who wander round singing to themselves, hoping that no-one will notice them.

There are several things you've probably heard about Vashti Bunyan which are all true.

Vashti Bunyan1. She is a direct descendant of John Bunyan who wrote The Pilgrim's Progress.

2. She and her boyfriend travelled to Donovan's commune in the Outer Hebrides by horse and wagon, but took so long about it that the idea had already collapsed by the time they arrived. It was on this trip that she wrote most of her debut album Just Another Diamond Day.

3. On its release in 1970, it was met with a critical mauling and the indifference of record-buyers. Bunyan went off to live with her family in the Outer Hebrides and didn't realise she had become a cult folk music hero until she typed her name into an internet search engine in 1997. Just Another Diamond Day was re-released in 2000 to much greater success.

4. The title track from Vashti Bunyan's legendary debut album was used in an insufferably smug mobile phone advert in the UK. Please do not hold this against her.

Aside from the beautiful (one might even say timeless) melodies which dig straight into my heart, the thing I love most about Vashti Bunyan's music is the way you can hear every noise her mouth makes as she sings. It gives the kind of intimate listening experience that you usually only get from a live performance. This is folk music at its absolute, moving best:

Vashti Bunyan - I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind mp3 (available for 7 days)

Vashti Bunyan - Trawlerman's Song mp3 (available for 7 days)

Buy Vashti Bunyan albums from

P.S. Please enjoy Vashti being completely unsuited to performing pop music with Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind. Bring back Twinkle and her dynamic performance!

1 comment:

martijn said...

We were listening to Vashti Bunyan too, last night. (Admittedly, it's mostly my other half who likes them, but it was nice anyway.)