Vetiver, Tight Knit
Cool, refreshing, and gone before you know it
Vetiver's Andy Cabic may have come up alongside freaked-out folkie Devendra Banhart, his onetime roommate and songwriting partner (Banhart's "At the Hop"), and, for a time, bandmate. But the uniformly sunny, easygoing music on Tight Knit is as un-freaky as it gets. After scavenging record bins for the folk obscurities that comprised 2008's all-covers Thing of the Past, Cabic and co. settle into a steady groove on their fourth full-length, an album that bears less resemblance to voguish touchstones like Fairport Convention and Pentangle than to the lazy lope of the Grateful Dead's American Beauty. "Rolling Sea" could almost pass for some long-lost Workingman's Dead outtake, with Cabic's quavering voice uncannily recalling Jerry Garcia's.
Notwithstanding the album's easygoing vibe, Tight Knit is true to its title. Often playing all the instruments himself, although Espers drummer Otto Hauser and Currituck Co. guitarist Kevin Barker chip in at times, Cabic keeps the songs relatively compact, which is to say they're relaxed without being undisciplined. The results go down smoothly, sometimes almost too much so: that the brisky "Everyday" hasn't been licensed for a Target commercial can only mean that the nation's music supervisors have been napping in their cubes. Former Pernice Brother Thom Monahan gives the songs a summery gloss that makes them go down like lemonade on a summer day: cool, refreshing, and gone before you know it.