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Vetiver: Up on High

xx vetiver

Vetiver’s Andy Cabic has a gentle voice — it’s a bit like Iain Archer (ex Snow Patrol, doesn’t sound like Snow Patrol). It’s melodic and tuneful yet Cabic’s singing style does not involve much variation. Like Archer’s solo albums (all recommended), it’s a soothing and warm sound.

He sings about life; opener The Living End appears to be about growing older, “A race for the finish line / Late though I know that I’m / Nearer now”, though it’s hard to tell. To Who Knows Where is next, and reminds us of some old acoustic track from the 70s, Traffic or Blodwyn Pig maybe, and again it seems about this journey known as life, “What’s this fantasy / This long road calling me / To who knows where,” his acoustic guitar accompanied by some gentle steel guitar.

Swaying is more upbeat and more in the present, “Come take my hand / Show me where the night begins” he sings, the swaying being that of palm trees, the sound that of REM. Hold Tight has a slight feel of Steely Dan to it. You can also hear shades of Tom Petty and (for old readers) Sniff ‘n’ The Tears.

Cabic wrote the songs on acoustic guitar and recorded the basics in the high desert of California, and it still has the intimate feel of a musician playing live and relaxed. Low key, but appealing.

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