Nine years after ‘Lookaftering’, her last album of new material, British singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan returns with a new LP. Recorded largely in her home studio, ‘Heartleap’ is a collection of ten songs forming what Vashti is adamant will be her final album.
Vashti’s third album follows her rediscovery – after thirty years in the wilderness – with the 2000 re-release of ‘Just Another Diamond Day’. For the first time – she herself has been in control of the whole process, from writing and arranging to playing and recording. Working predominantly from a studio set up in her Edinburgh home. Both ‘JADD’ and ‘Lookaftering’ saw Vashti‘s songs arranged and framed by others. Joe Boyd’s production and Robert Kirby’s arranging of the former, whilst Max Richter’s production of Lookaftering was enhanced by contributions from a raft of supporting artists.
Vashti, who “wanted it to be more akin to my very first recordings, the ones even before ‘Diamond Day’. I wanted to try to emerge from the shelter of others and stand out in the open. It would have been much easier had I worked with a producer and an engineer – I would not have had to spend so much time on editing – but that’s been the interesting part. If I’d taken these songs and gone into a studio with them they might have turned out very differently, perhaps more ‘produced’ – but not as near to how I hear them for myself.”
“The whole point of the album was finally to learn a way that would enable me to record the music that is in my head, by myself. I neither read nor write music, nor can I play piano with more than one hand at a time, but I have loved being able to work it all out for myself and make it sound the way I wanted. I’ve built these songs over years. The album wouldn’t have happened any other way. Sometimes when I replace the arrangements with real instruments they don’t work in the same way. The extended notes of the clarinet on the song ‘Heartleap’ for instance could not be played on a real clarinet. I can’t ‘play’ a musician playing their instrument – I can’t make them play each note as I want it, but with a keyboard and a music program I am the player.”
‘Heartleap’ will be released on FatCat in UK / Europe on October 6th and in North America via DiCristina on October 7th.
Vashti will play a run of UK tour dates in smaller settings with guitarist Gareth Dickson (her first since 2010) in support of the album, with more dates to be added in early 2015.
1. Across The Water
2. Holy Smoke
6. The Boy
8. Blue Shed
UK Tour Dates
Tuesday 7th October – MAC, Birmingham – Tickets
Wednesday 8th October – St. Pancras Church, London – Tickets
Thursday 9th October – St. Pancras Church, London – Tickets
Saturday 11th October – The Band Room, Farndale – Tickets
Sunday 12th October – St. Philip’s Church, Manchester – Tickets