English folk-singer Vashti Bunyan has had a unique career trajectory, which started when she recorded a Jagger-Richards song in the mid-1960s. Her early singles failed to gain much attention, and Bunyan instead travelled by horse and cart to join a commune in the Hebrides. On the journey she wrote the songs for her debut Just Another Diamond Day, which she released in 1970 under the guidance of Joe Boyd. The album sold poorly and Bunyan retired from the music business to concentrate on raising her children.
Some thirty years later, Just Another Diamond Day had gained a following, becoming a highly prized LP and garnering a new generation of followers like Devendra Barnhart and Adem. The album was re-released on CD in 2000, and Bunyan resumed her recording career with 2005’s Lookaftering. In 2014, she released Heartleap, which she’s indicated will be her final LP, meaning she’s only recorded three albums over a 44 year recording career, making perfectionists like Peter Gabriel and The Blue Nile look prolific in comparison.
But despite her limited output, Bunyan’s worth getting to know. Just Another Diamond Day has a twee, naive beauty, while her 21st century output is surprisingly strong, mixing elegant arrangements with economic writing.