Review of Vetiver's album 'Tight Knit' released through Bella Union.
Tight Knit is Andy Cabic's fourth album as Vetiver and he has created a 10-headed monster of an album. Somewhat disarmingly, yet somewhat charmingly, Cabic has somehow managed to create 10 songs that sound as though they sprung from 10 very different beasts, at 10 very different times. Liable to split opinion down the middle, no doubt.
So, in the 'well, I may just as well have been listening to a compilation, there's no sense of identity' camp, we can argue that it's hard to latch onto the mood of the album. We can also offer up the point - if we are that way inclined - that if Cabic will insist in writing in so many mildly disparate genres, his album will be terribly hard to market and when you try to buy it on Amazon and you want Amazon to tell you what else you might like, Amazon will find it really hard to tell you. And you won't know how to describe it to your friends by pointing at the genre headings in HMV or any other record shop, no matter how detailed their cataloguing expert is. Thankfully, though, we are not that way inclined. So we shall retract that point.
In the 'what the hell, lovely album, well-crafted, let's just take each track as it comes' corner, we shall be arguing that we should probably just shrug
and take Simon Raymonde's word for it. again. For it is he that hath given us Andrew Bird. And it is he that hath given us Fleet Foxes. And it is he that shall shortly giveth us
Paul Marshall. And, by golly, he hath gotten it right again. Another gentle male folky-type from the Bella Union production line.
Despite hailing from San Francisco and having clearly inhaled some of the leftover magic dust has been blowing about Haight-Ashbury since the 1960s, the Vetiver sound has a distinctly European nuance to it. From the psychedelia of
post-Barrett Pink Floyd, to the poppier moments which recall the brothers Davies of The Kinks.
In essence, Tight Knit isn't really as diverse as it sounds on first listen. There's a river running through it, alright. Musically, the beats alter, the mood alters. On 'Sister', Cabic is playful and verging on early Fleetwood Mac territory (trust me - shove some harmonies in there - bingo!) whilst 'Everyday' seems to be reaching for daytime TV airplay and 'At Forest Edge' forms a pretty chilling homage to the aforementioned Floyd.
What binds them all together, though, is Cabic's velveteen voice; light, dreamy and thoroughly narcotic with its soothing tones. It might be a 42 minute curveball, but Tight Knit is worth the gamble and worth the endurance.