It's taken 35 years for Bunyan to follow up her revered 1970 debut Just Another Diamond Day. In her absence, Bunyan has developed superfans including Devendra Banhart, Joanna Newsom and electronic man Max Richter, who contribute acoustic guitar, harp and, comparatively raucously, piano to this collection of stunningly simple songs. In Wayward, Bunyan muses how she once wanted to be armed with a suitcase, "the one with road dust on my shoes." But if there's a slight wistfulness, she seems to have found equal potency in anonymous rural escape.
Much has been made of Vashti Bunyan's 1969 unheard-at-the-time Just Another Diamond Day. Produced by Joe Boyd, it featured the singer and songwriter backed by a small string quartet. Discouraged by the sleazy ethics of the music biz, she retired and concentrated on raising a family, gardening, and other productive matters. The set was re-released on CD in 2000, and has been rightfully heralded as a classic by virtually everyone who has heard it.
Released to little fanfare or acclaim in 1970, Just Another Diamond Day was already the young Vashti Bunyan's second go-round at making a career out of music. But much like her earlier forays into the rock world (courtesy of a Jagger/Richards penned debut single for Decca called "Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind"), her tenure as a member of Joe Boyd's famed stable of folk musicians wasn't made to last. Instead, she drifted away to Ireland and spent the bulk of the next 30 years focusing on raising a family.