The second album from Andy Cabic and co. In retrospect, it Idle Ties - Vetiver - To Find Me Gone that the debut album by Andy Cabic's Vetiver-- which featured contributions from Devendra Banhart, Hope Sandoval, and Joanna Newsom-- was a clear-cut case of freak-folk by association. Since then, Cabic has maintained his close affiliation with Banhart both as member of Devendra's live band Hairy Fairy and as co-owner of the pair's Gnomonsong label.
Yet as evidenced by Vetiver's second full-length album, To Find Me GoneCabic's music has evolved to the point where it now shares little in common with Banhart's whimsical, fingerpicked delicacy or any other distinct folk traditions. The album instead finds Cabic nudging Vetiver toward the lost canyons of airy West Coast soft-rock and laid-back, country-tinged introspection, all harvested with a dreamy, narcotic warmth and just enough melodic grit to avoid a complete departure off into the twilight.
Vetiver's instrumental line-up has always been fluid, but here Cabic assembles a stellar supporting cast. As with their debut, the album was again produced TSOP - Various - Dans Folie 73•74•75 the Pernice Brothers' Thom Monahan, whose previous work with Banhart, the Scud Mountain Boys, and Apples in Stereo has clearly prepared him well to handle Vetiver's general cosmic parameters.
Even with all this superb assistance, however, Vetiver resolutely remains Andy Cabic's show, and that's a premise that doesn't necessarily come without some drawbacks.
His tranquil, reflective vocals are certainly strong enough to get his songs across, yet they're often lacking in sheer presence and emotive personality.
On midtempo tracks like "I Know No Pardon", his calm, featureless vocals tunnel their central blank narration through the heart of the group's crisp arrangements, The Lure Of The Antichrist - Various - Close-Up Magazine #128 an otherwise substantial performance feeling somehow weightless and hollowed-out.
It's not surprising, then, that To Find Me Gone is at its most arresting on tracks where Cabic simply succumbs to gravity and allows his voice to be carried away on the music's powerful tidal flow. The dense, mesmeric groove of "You May Be Blue" recalls vintage Fleetwood Mac at their slinky best, while "No One Word" hovers in the darkened prairie evening on a smoky cloud of pedal steel and cello.
The album also reprises and subtly reworks two tracks from Vetiver's Between EP-- the acoustic strum "Maureen" and "Been So Long", which is here Idle Ties - Vetiver - To Find Me Gone enhanced by the addition of rich, ambient drones and the restless flutter of Hauser's textured percussion. Cabic does permit himself to indulge in the occasional interlude of psych-folk, as on the expansive "Red Lantern Girls", which slowly builds to a galloping, electric crescendo.
Any lingering afterimages Idle Ties - Vetiver - To Find Me Gone evaporate, however, upon the entry of "Won't Be Me", a frisky bit of retro-country that wouldn't sound out of place on a Ryan Adams album. On this track, as well as on the orchestrated, waltz-time "Idle Ties", it becomes easy to wish that Vetiver wrote better pop choruses, as neither song is ever able to amount to much beyond its initial melodic impulses.
The same could also be said of the stately, album-closing "Down at El Rio", a pensive semi-ballad that has Banhart's voice and fingerprints all over it. As with much of To Find Me Gonethis finale is informed by a gentle, homesick yearning that is surely an outgrowth of Cabic and company's recent life spent on the constant move.
Hopefully this lovely but transitory album can soon be read as Cabic's first step toward finding an open space of arable land for Vetiver to truly call their own. Skip to content Search query All Results. Pitchfork is the most trusted voice in music. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Open share drawer.
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