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Vashti Bunyan details new (and “final”) album, ‘Heartleap’


As if it wasn’t enough that we got a new Linda Perhacs album this year, it’s also been announced that we’ll get a new one from another cult folk legend, Vashti Bunyan. Vashti will release Heartleap on October 6 via FatCat in Europe and a day later via DiCristina in North America. It’s her third album overall, following her legendary 1970 debut, Just Another Diamond Day, and 2005’s excellent comeback album, Lookaftering. Vashti also says this will be her last.

Though her last two albums were recorded with multiple collaborators (including Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart on her most recent one), Vashti chose to make this one mostly on her own (it does include Devendra on one song and Andy of Vetiver on two). She says, via press release:

[I] wanted it to be more akin to my very first recordings, pre-‘Diamond Day.’ I wanted to see what I could do without using the ideas of others. It would have been much easier had I recorded it with 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.

She also talks about using synthetic/electronic instruments instead of the entirely acoustic arrangements of Lookaftering:

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.

The artwork for the album (above) was taken from a painting by her daughter, Whyn Lewis, much like the Lookaftering cover which looks strikingly similar to this one.

Check out the album tracklist and her list of UK tour dates, below…

Heartleap Tracklist:
1. Across The Water
2. Holy Smoke
3. Mother
4. Jellyfish
5. Shell
6. The Boy
7. Gunpowder
8. Blue Shed
9. Here
10. Heartleap

Vashti Bunyan — 2014 Tour Dates
10-07 Birmingham, England – MAC
10-08 London, England – St. Pancras Church
10-09 London, England – St. Pancras Church
10-11 Farndale, England – The Band Room
10-12 Manchester, England – St. Philip’s Church

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