“ON this record I had a much clearer idea of what I was trying to accomplish,” says Candythief, aka Diana de Cabarrus, of her third album Imaginary Medals.

“I felt more confident in what I was going for, and if someone did or didn’t like it, that was what it was.”

Having first emerged in 2006 with an EP on Fife’s Fence Records, de Cabarrus then recorded a couple of albums between 2008 and 2011 while immersed in London’s anti-folk scene. Since then she’s been based in Edinburgh, where she runs Key To Music, a music school for adults and children.

A refreshingly unconventional pop folk album, Imaginary Medals has a liberated, magpie-like ethos not unlike the output of Jane Weaver and Nadine Shah. De Cabarrus beguiles from the off with unusual song structures, psychedelic melodies and fresh takes on traditional songs such as St James Infirmary Blues and Rosemary Lane, a track she saw performed by Pumajaw, a charismatic husband-and-wife duo featuring Pinkie McClure and John Wills.

Imaginary Medals was produced by Wills – a former member of pioneering late 1980s trance rockers Loop - in the Imaginarium, the studio the pair run in Bankfoot, north of Perth.

“In my mind, I have adopted Pinkie and John as my art godparents,” says de Cabarrus with a laugh. “It’s so inspiring to be with people who have lived utterly to their own principles.

“One of the things I really appreciated about John is that he has this laidback style combined with this unswerving commitment to getting the best out of me. He had the horse whisperer touch; he appeared to have a light touch but he set the right energetic tone to come up with the goods.”

Working with the pair inspired the musician to “record something completely on my own terms”. And while Imaginary Medals has no intentional theme, there are recurring lyrical ideas, she says.

“There is a lot to do with the validity of your own personal inner world, as opposed to the external influences acting upon you. That’s the thing of real value you can enjoy and experience and share with others. All the other stuff is just mind control.”

Friday with The Eastern Swell and The Marriage, Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 7.30pm, £7. Tickets: bit.ly/CandythiefLPlaunch

Sunday, instore at Vox Box Records, Edinburgh, 4pm. www.facebook.com/VoxBoxMusic

Imaginary Medals is out on Friday

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