Boomkat Product Review:
The accidental matriarch at the head of the recent folk revival, Vashti Bunyan had been championed by everyone from Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and Adem as one of folk music's great lost voices. After the reissue of her 1970 LP Just Another Diamond Day, Vashti was coaxed out of retirement to record the Max Richter-produced Lookaftering, an album which featured guest appearances from many of the nu-folk crowd's movers and shakers and formally reintroduced her to the contemporary music scene. "Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind" comes as another look back however, this time delving into Vashti's archive of pre-Diamond Day recordings. The collection's title is taken from her debut single - a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (Vashti had been taken under Andrew Loog Oldham's wing in the mid-'60s), sounding dramatically unlike the kind of rustic, pastoral sounds you'd associate with the eventual debut album. The upbeat, fully orchestrated sound that characterises 'Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind' seems entirely at odds with the infinitesimally gentle, uninflected tones of Vashti's voice, but as the sleevenotes point out, at this point in time Ms. Bunyan wanted to integrate her quiet acoustic music into the established mainstream vocabulary. After this first single proved to be something of a commercial failure, Vashti stripped her sound back to a far more intimate setup of guitar, cello and voice on 'Train Song'/'Love Song', providing the first indications of the music that was to define her career. Three more unreleased singles appear on this first half of the collection, including the magnificently festive, beat-driven pop of 'Coldest Night Of The Year', which deviates about as far from Vashti's signature sound as you could imagine. The second half of the collection compiles demos dating back to 1964, containing unaltered recordings found on long-lost tape reels. This stuff, as you'd expect, provides an extremely intimate, unadorned representation of Vashti's songwriting, and finds her uniquely soft, even voice in its very finest form, with tracks like 'Autumn Leaves' and 'If In Winter' delivered with a pure, unfettered grace. Highly recommended.