Review: Vetiver, ‘The Errant Charm’

Review: Vetiver, ‘The Errant Charm’: Aidin Vaziri | Andy Cabic, the singer-songwriter and driving force behind Vetiver, gave away the game a few albums back. The San Francisco band’s “Thing of the Past” offered reverent covers of early ’70s folk-rock oddities by Townes Van Zandt, Garland Jeffreys and Norman Greenbaum. But by revealing his influences, Cabic also revealed his deep love for the kind of music he makes – it’s the kind of passion that drives otherwise rational men to spend huge swaths of their weekends fingering dusty old records in search of the perfect three-minute soundtrack to a summer daydream. On “The Errant Charm,” the group’s fifth studio album, he comes up with almost a dozen of his own. With the drifting acoustic riffs of “It’s Beyond Me” and “Worse for Wear” giving way to the languid AM funk of “Can’t You Tell” and the cosmic country swirl of “Wonder Why,” the music remains light and airy even as the lyrics take occasional dark twists. “Short dollars, I’m spending my peace of mind/ When is this old world going to treat me kind,” Cabic sings, his mellow voice belying the troubles that make him toss and turn at night. The unobstructed optimism of the group’s 2009 indie hit “Everyday” still surfaces here, but it’s in the expansive, slow-burning sorrow of album closers “Faint Praise” and “Soft Glass” that Cabic earns a place alongside his obscure heroes.

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