At a recent in-store at New York's Other Music before an evening performance, Vetiver (which includes Bay Area guitarist Andy Cabic and cohorts) sound-checked with three exquisite songs before the doors were even opened to the audience. From there, the easygoing tunes continued unabated for another hour, and one could imagine the band strumming and playing even as they walked on to the next venue, perhaps even the next town. The group, attuned to one another, communed via a music that flowed as effortlessly as honey or freshly squeezed lemon juice.
Vetiver's second album, Find Me Gone, serves as a breezy, laid-back, and satisfying soundtrack to the summer. On his 2004 debut, Cabic had plenty of friends and guest stars, from Hope Sandoval to My Bloody Valentine, yet the album was lackluster. Even though 20-odd friends (including Devendra Banhart and Brightblack) helped out this time around, the results are far more focused. Produced again by the Pernice Brothers' Thom Monahan, Gone's instrumental details are gently gleaned, from the strum of an acoustic guitar to bowed cello, propelled by tabla and harmonium. "You May Blue" deftly choogles along like classic J.J. Cale, while swathes of pedal steel highlight "Won't Be." Such textural arrangements accentuate Cabic's matured songwriting, his fingers and eyes catching the tiniest of details. "Idle Ties" recalls a homemade mixtape of Marc Bolan (a definite vocal influence) and Vashti Bunyan, and "Down at El Rio" notes the bar's tan pool table and lemon tree out back. All of which conspires for some delectable lemonade.
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