I first heard Virginia Astley via Lauren Laverne, who played (I think) "With my eyes wide open" from her first album, "From Gardens Where We Feel Secure". Mostly ambient, a conceptual piece about a garden in an English Summer, spanning dawn to dusk. Bucolic ambient, dream pop.

It was a little outside my wheel-house, but I loved it, and wanted to find out more. I soon learned that official, physical copies of it were rare and expensive.

'Hope in a Darkened Heart' spinning on my turntable

Some time later I stumbled across her second album "Hope in a Darkened Heart" (which is possibly the most commonly available of her albums) and bought it blind. It's quite different, with a lot more singing, but whatever drew me to Gardens is present. I love this. It was produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Only this week I was enormously pleased to discover a chunk of her discography on Bandcamp, including the two aformentioned albums.

Highlights from Darkened: