|Tight Knit (February 17, 2009)|
Vetiver — Tight Knit (February 17, 2009)
::: “Tight Knit is built with a keen ear for detail, be it a subtle dose of pedal steel or a gently rippling guitar effect …”
::: California folk–rockers whose sound is heavily influenced by late–‘60s/early–‘70s hippie–folk troubadours.Location: San Francisco, United States
Album release: February 17, 2009
Record Label: Sub Pop
01 Rolling Sea 5:18
02 Sister 3:43
03 Everyday 3:48
04 Through the Front Door 4:26
05 Down from Above 3:53
06 On the Other Side 3:09
07 More of This 4:00
08 Another Reason to Go 3:43
09 Strictly Rule 4:28
10 At Forest Edge 5:48
» 2009 Tight Knit Top Heatseekers #22
::: Bill Armstrong Arranger, Flugelhorn, Horn Arrangements, Trumpet
::: Kevin Barker Guitar, Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Acoustic)
::: Andy Cabic Arranger, Audio Production, Composer, Drum Machine, Guitar, Guitar (Acoustic), Horn Arrangements, Keyboards, Percussion, Piano, Producer, Vocals, Writer
::: Brent Dunn Bass, Guitar (Bass)
::: J.J. Golden Remastering
::: Brian Haran Engineer
::: Otto Hauser Drums, Percussion
::: Eric Johnson Keyboards
::: Eric L. Johnson Keyboards, Vocals
::: Thom Monahan Arranger, Audio Engineer, Audio Production, Engineer, Guest Artist, Horn Arrangements, Mixing, Percussion, Producer, Treatments
::: Adam Peters Cello
::: Nathaniel Russell Artwork
::: Farmer Dave Scher Clavinet
::: David Stout Trombone
::: Sanders Trippe Guitar, Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Electric), Vocals
::: Jonathan Wilson Clavinet
By Matthew Murphy; February 17, 2009; Score: 7.2
::: Just in case there was any lingering confusion, Andy Cabic and his cohorts in Vetiver did an excellent job in 2008 of further outlining their overall musical objectives. On their covers album Thing of the Past and the supplemental EP More of the Past, Vetiver paid faithful homage to a very specific brand of dazed Americana, covering songs by Townes Van Zandt, Norman Greenbaum, and Michael Hurley, as well reviving several long–lost obscurities by such lesser–known songwriters as Garland Jeffreys and Elyse Weinberg. All of the source material for these covers can be roughly dated to 1969–73 time period, and throughout their performances Vetiver showed a virtually effortless affinity for the playing and production styles of that era’s folk–rock and cosmic country.
::: Now Vetiver make their Sub Pop debut with Tight Knit, their first album of original material since 2006’s To Find Me Gone and fourth album overall. Though the songs are all written by Cabic, he has learned well the lessons of Thing of the Past, and his new work remains very much in that same early–70s headspace. Produced by longtime Vetiver associate Thom Monahan, Tight Knit is built with a keen ear for detail, be it a subtle dose of pedal steel or a gently rippling guitar effect, and it features Cabic’s most consistently engaging batch of songs to date.
::: As has been the case in the past, Vetiver’s roster on this album straddles the line between a full band and a Cabic solo project. On several tracks here Cabic plays all the instruments himself, while others feature the touring group that includes well–traveled drummer Otto Hauser and Currituck Co.’s guitarist Kevin Barker. To Cabic and Monahan’s credit, however, these shifts in personnel are largely invisible, and the songs all hang easily together as a coherent whole.
::: In what seems a show of Cabic’s genial self–assurance, he kicks off Tight Knit with “Rolling Sea”, a sun–dappled country ballad that wouldn’t have startled a soul if it had drifted out of an AM radio 35 years ago. Elsewhere Cabic takes greater chances, such as on the standout “Another Reason to Go”, which adds Clavinet and horns to a well–turned hippie groove that seems a distant cousin to the Grateful Dead’s “Estimated Prophet.” Equally memorable is the melodic “On the Other Side”, whose easy gait is measured by the steady clip–clop of a drum machine, and on which Cabic issues what could be his mission statement, gently decrying those unmellow types who “get nervous and act uptight” or otherwise “fuss and fight” before he helpfully points out “that just ain’t my speed.”
::: Nice and midtempo — that’s more Cabic’s speed. And even at its most innovative, Tight Knit still finds Vetiver returning time and again to the familiar shores of West Coast country–rock and the untroubled pace of their Thing of the Past forefathers. Yet in the face of Cabic’s relentless positive vibrations it feels somehow unacceptably churlish to say harsh words against either the driving, Gene Clark rhythms of “Everyday" and “More of This” or the dreamy, pastoral folk of the closing “At Forest Edge”. With their boundaries and ambitions by now well established, on Tight Knit Cabic and company largely succeed in luring the listener hazily back in time and into Vetiver’s comfort zone.
AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra; Score: ****
♣ Andy Cabic’s Vetiver have never been as far out as some of their indie folk compatriots like Devendra Banhart, and they’ve never been as outside as some of their influences (as detailed on 2008’s album of covers Thing of the Past) might lead you to believe. Instead, their gentle, almost classic rock smooth sound is something you could play for just about anyone and not have a single eyebrow raised in any degree of alarm. ♣ That being said, Tight Knit is the group’s slickest, tightest record so far. From the opening ballad “Rolling Sea” onward, Cabic and crew make music that can only be called easy listening. Not the kind you hear in a dentist’s office, but the kind of music that makes no demands on you as a listener and just wraps you in cottony coziness. ♣ The lush beds of acoustic guitars, the gently swooping electric guitars, the rich vocal harmonies, and restrained percussion serve the tender and vulnerable lead vocals of Cabic perfectly; the simple melodies and drifting chord changes are unchallenging in the best sense of the word. Apart from the peppy, perfect for a soda pop commercial “Everyday” and the almost rocking in a lazy bar band way “More of This,” the record is perfectly constructed for lazy days and hazy nights. It takes skill to create a record filled with so little energy and drive, and again, that's not a criticism though it probably sounds like it should be. Cabic is creating a mood here, an ode to tenderness and quiet that never wavers from its aims. Indeed if you’re looking for a record to wake you or shake you, Tight Knit might drive you into a fury. If you want a record to lull you and tuck you in with a kiss on the forehead, then you’re in luck. It might not be the best album Vetiver have made, but it’s the most consistent and beguiling.
::: Vetiver (DiCristina, 2004)
::: To Find Me Gone (DiCristina, FatCat Records, 2006)
::: Thing of the Past (Gnomonsong / FatCat, 2008)
::: Tight Knit (Sub Pop / Bella Union, 2009)
::: The Errant Charm (Sub Pop / Bella Union, 2011)
::: Complete Strangers (Easy Sound, 2015)
::: Between (DiCristina, 2005)
::: “You May Be Blue” (Gnomonsong, 2008)
::: “More of the Past” (Gnomonsong, 2008)
|Tight Knit (February 17, 2009)|
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