Vashti Bunyan: Heartleap review – breathy and frighteningly fragile


Vashti Bunyan has had a curious career. In 1970 she released Just Another Diamond Day, a gently charming, if sometimes twee album that failed to sell. When it was re-released 30 years later, helped by reminders of how she had travelled across Britain in a horse-drawn wagon, it was hailed as a classic. She followed up with a second album in 2005, and now comes a third set that will no doubt delight her psych-folk cult following, but may leave others baffled. Her voice is delicate, breathy and almost frighteningly fragile – there are times when it’s a relief that she manages to get through a song – but she is helped by a backing of shimmering guitars, strings and keyboards, much of it painstakingly assembled by Bunyan herself. She is capable of writing strong melodies, but the mood here rarely strays far from the pleasantly soporific.


Robin Denselow

The GuardianTramp

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