Utopian hippie returns from utopia, croons dreamily
Vashti Bunyan’s Lookaftering might be considered proof-positive that escaping swinging-’60s London with a horse and carriage to live on a commune in the northern British countryside was the way to go after all. Thirty-five years later, the fingerpicking songstress retains every bit of the innocent hippiedom she displayed on her lost-and-found 1970 debut, Just Another Diamond Day (shaped by the same mope scientists who masterminded Nick Drake’s three albums, producer Joe Boyd and arranger Robert Kirby). Devotee Devendra Banhart co-arranges with producer Max Richter, setting Bunyan’s airy compositions in a drifting cloud of stereo-panned acoustic guitars (“Against the Sky”), the returning Kirby’s strings (“Same But Different”) and Joanna Newsom’s harp (“If I Were”). Bunyan glides breathily through odes to winter nights (“Against the Sky”) and wordless lullabies almost certain to show up in future Wes Anderson pictures (“Wayward Hum”). A preciously solemn soundtrack for blustery days, Lookaftering is a sleepy report from Brigadoon.