Thursday, August 09, 2007

Hello Old Thing, Hello New Thing: 21

Vashti Bunyan: Don't Believe What They Say (Demo, 1964)
As one of the great career turnarounds in the history of pop music, Vashti Bunyan's story takes some beating. From mis-managed mid-60s pop starlet, to caravan-piloting folk-babe, to, well, very little for a long time before another friend of ours rereleased her Just Another Diamond Day LP. Within a fairly short time, a new record contract had appeared, her music was on adverts, she was gigging again and people young enough to be her children were namechecking her as a heroic influence. Amazing, really. I always like to think it was my review from a late-2000 issue of Sleaze Nation that helped her back on track... Anyway, this is taken from a brilliant compilation of her earliest singles and demos recorded between 1964 to 1967. How lovely.

The Changes: In The Dark (Kitchenware, 2007)
I had never heard of The Changes until I put their new record on. Not all of it grabbed me, but this track got me immediately. Classic happy / sad melodic electro-scented indie pop that sounds a little like it was recorded in 1986 and a little like it was recorded last week. It also has a wonderfully perverse guitar solo that is half jazz sitar and half twinkly-twonkly noodle (if you see what I mean). You will like it, I promise.

Enjoy...

6 comments:

Gatz said...

I may get lynched for writing this but in my opinion Vashti Bunyan, well, just isn't very good. The simple tunes and little girl vocals don't contain any hidden depths. A shame, because the back story is grat. If you want great woman folk(ish) singers of the era then Anne Briggs, Norma Waterson, Linda Thompson, Sandy Denny and more easily out-sing and out-class her.

Rob said...

Hey Gatz: I love Anne and Norma and Linda and Sandy (especially Sandy), but I love Vashti's voice because it's so unlike the others. It doesn't fall into an easily recognisable style and - for many people - it's just too mannered, too different. So I hear you. But it works for me every time...

Gatz said...

I might give Diamond Day another go Rob. As it happens I've just heard a song of her's called something like 'Sugar Elephants' on Last FM (I'm playing 'songs like' Fairport Convention because I'm of to Cropredy tomorrow). I must admit I liked it more than I remember liking VB before.

Rob said...

She'll get you in the end, Gatz...

the mammary gland said...

I think Vashti being lumped in with the folk brigade does her a bit of a disservice. She just isn't that type of singer, she is unique and certainly does not consider herself a folk singer at all. Diamond Day is an amazing record and she is an absolute diamond of a woman.

Rob said...

*imagines Stephen's eyes misting over with love*