Vetiver — Complete Strangers
•• California folk–rockers whose sound is heavily influenced by late–‘60s/early–‘70s hippie–folk troubadours.
•• “V mém chápání toho, jak jsou žánry označovány a kodifikovány, pokaždé se mi zdá, že to je ve finále na úkor hudby, protože se používají bezcitně a po určitou dobu nás odepíšou.” — Andy Cabic
Location: San Francisco, California
Album release: March 24, 2015
Record Label: Easy Sound Recording Co.
01 Stranger Still 7:00
02 From Now On 3:18
03 Current Carry 3:55
04 Confiding 4:01
05 Backwards Slowly 4:49
06 Loose Ends 3:28
07 Shadows Lane 3:46
08 Time Flies By 3:14
09 Edgar 6:23
10 Last Hurrah 3:33
•• Andy Cabic
•• Sanders Trippe
•• Otto Hauser
•• Sarah Versprille
•• Daniel Hindman
•• Bob Parins
BY MILES RAYMER, Posted March 16 2015 — 11:29 AM EDT
•↑• San Francisco indie outfit Vetiver’s been putting out albums for just over a decade now, refining a sound that draws as much from mellow ’70s singer–songwriters as their jangly contemporaries. Complete Strangers, the group’s seventh album, finds group mastermind Andy Cabic and his rotating cast of collaborators working in more electronic sounds, a little more Graceland–era Paul Simon, and quite a bit more smoothed–out funk.
Artist Biography by Stewart Mason
•• When Vetiver released their first album in 2004, they were commonly lumped into the nascent "freak folk" movement alongside the likes of Joanna Newsom and Six Organs of Admittance, thanks to leader Andy Cabic’s friendship with scene founder Devendra Banhart. (In addition to Banhart’s musical contributions to Vetiver's first two albums, Cabic co–wrote Banhart's breakout song "At the Hop," which appeared on 2004's Rejoicing in the Hands; on the same album, Banhart paid tribute to his friend's band in the song "When the Sun Shone on Vetiver.")
•• However, the band's roots go deeper than Syd Barrett and Linda Perhacs, encompassing the U.K. shoegazer scene and the mid–‘90s D.I.Y. indie rock scene. Cabic was part of the latter, forming the Raymond Brake in his native Greensboro, North Carolina, during the early ‘90s. The Raymond Brake’s noisy, Sonic Youth–influenced take on indie rock was a natural fit with both the Chapel Hill art–punk scene and the influential Washington D.C.–based indie label Simple Machines, which released the band's debut album, Piles of Dirty Winters, in 1995. After a handful of EPs and one more album, 1996’s Never Work Ever, the Raymond Brake broke up and Cabic migrated westward, eventually settling in San Francisco.
•• While studying at the San Francisco Art Institute, Cabic met fellow student Banhart and instantly established a close working relationship with the bearded sprite. Playing shows with Banhart, Newsom, and others, Cabic started writing songs for his new project, Vetiver, named for an Asian relative of lemongrass that’s used in perfume making. He added Banhart on guitar and backing vocals, Jim Gaylord on violin, and Alissa Anderson on cello, and the band — with Cabic’s vocals, banjo, and acoustic guitar — released its self–titled debut on the DiCristina label in 2004. (The album, produced by Thom Monahan of the Pernice Brothers, also included guest spots by Newsom, Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval, and former My Bloody Valentine drummer Colm O’Ciosoig.)
•• Vetiver was followed in 2005 by an odds–and–sods collection called Between, which included two live tracks, a new version of a song from Vetiver, and a cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Save Me a Place." For Vetiver's second full–length album, 2006's To Find Me Gone, Cabic finally added a drummer, Otto Hauser, and bassist Kevin Barker to the core trio of himself, Banhart, and Anderson. After the album was released, Cabic introduced a stable, full–time recording and touring lineup of himself, Anderson, Hauser, new guitarist Sanders Trippe, and new bassist Brent Dunn. In 2008, the band released A Thing of the Past, a collection of covers of songs by artists who had influenced the group's music, including Michael Hurley, Ronnie Lane, and Townes Van Zandt.
•• Released in 2009, Tight Knit, the band's next album, was released by Sub Pop, and Vetiver remained with that label for 2011's The Errant Charm, whose breezy, casual sound was inspired by Cabic's frequent walks around San Francisco's Richmond District. He returned in 2015 with sixth album Complete Strangers, again produced by sole Vetiver producer Thom Monahan. The album found Cabic integrating more electronic sounds into his laid–back folksy songwriting. :: http://www.allmusic.com/
•• 2004 Vetiver DiCristina
•• 2006 To Find Me Gone DiCristina / Dicristina Stair
•• 2008 Thing of the Past Gnomonsong
•• 2008 More of the Past Gnomonsong
•• 2009 Tight Knit Sub Pop
•• 2011 The Errant Charm Sub Pop
•• 2015 Complete Strangers Easy Sound
•• 2016 Hey Doll Baby B/W Miles Apart
•• Between (DiCristina, 2005)
•• "You May Be Blue" (Gnomonsong, 2008)
•• "More of the Past" (Gnomonsong, 2008)
•• Acoustic 07 (V2 Records, 2007) — "Been So Long"
•• The Believer 2004 Music Issue — "Be Kind to Me"
•• The Golden Apples Of The Sun (Bastet, 2004) — "Angel's Share"
•• Johnny Boy Would Love This...A Tribute to John Martyn (Hole in the Rain Music, 2011) — "Go Easy"
INTERVIEW By Steven Leckart, msnbc.com contributor, updated 5/25/2006 3:53:31 PM ET
Tha Aquarium Drunkard interview, author J Silverstein:
Management: Liz Management
Booking (North America): Frank Road Touring
Booking (Europe): Jose Luis ! Music
US Publicity: Daniel PR
Label Contact: Easy Sound Recording Company • 11400 West Olympic Blvd. Suite 1450 • Los Angeles, CA 90064 • (310) 829-9355
•• Vetiver is what I’ve been calling my songs and recordings since about 2003 or so. I live in San Francisco, have since 1998. My touring band and the musicians I’ve recorded with over the years are always changing, though many friends and players have stayed with me over albums and tours. The one constant has been Thom Monahan who has engineered and co–produced every Vetiver album. Thom lives in L.A., where most of Complete Strangers was recorded.
•• The album came together slowly over demos at my home in San Francisco and quick trips to L.A., continuing on with Thom at his studio. It moved in fits and starts for a couple years. Once we had the basic arrangements we jumped in the studio with Bart Davenport, Gabe Noel and Josh Adams for a few days to put down rhythm tracks. That’s when the album really took shape. Thom & I fleshed everything out with a few more musicians in San Francisco & L.A. and eventually Complete Strangers arrived.
•• The songs on Complete Strangers bear some resemblance to the album’s title. They share things in common but come from different places, different times. “Stranger Still” is an anthem for insomniacs, illuminating the hours when the world exceeds our grasp. “From Now On” rings out some emotional tinnitus, the moment a night runs away from you, when freedoms turn into responsibilities. The album builds around dualities, the way people pair at parties. “Current Carry” percolates with the confidence of love, while “Confiding” reveals how vulnerable we are chasing love. “Backwards Slowly” and “Edgar” are vignettes of transition, more ebb than flow. As with many of Vetiver’s better moments, sunshine is only a chord away from melancholy. An introspective lyric underlies an extroverted chorus. Subtlety tries to be outgoing, loneliness familiar, in an effort to connect the dots of life’s ellipsis.
•• I’m still figuring the album out. It feels like someone I’ve just met yet known for a long time. — Andy Cabic