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Vetiver: Tight Knit [Album Review]


To be perfectly honest, I didn’t really care for Vetiver (MySpace) the first time I heard them; at least I thought I didn’t. At the time, they just seemed the standard folk-rock-pop artist blend, fronted by generic vocals. But Tight Knit is none of that. And after listening to it a few times, realization dawned on me that I was thinking about a different band. Vetiver possesses none of the negative terms I associated with the other V band: generic, monotonous, lacking endearment. Instead, Vetiver’s music is filled with traits that make fellow Sub Pop artists like Daniel Martin Moore great.

Opening with “Rolling Sea”, Vetiver opts to define themselves early on, blending together soft folk-pop packed with mellow, finger-plucked guitar with brushed percussion and pleasant sleepy vocals. There’s a consciousness here; yes, it may be soft and mellow and harmonious, but it’s also hyper aware… the proper term would be clear, no… clarity.

There’s a clarity to the music Vetiver packs into Tight Knit that sets them apart from the standard, the generic, the mundane. It can be heard again on track two, “Sister”, where the chiming triangle is over prominent – you can almost imagine Bruce Dickinson calling for More Triangle in the recording session, but here there’s no humor, and its effect on the song is both numbing and mesmerizing. It’s not until track three that we hear something full. “Everyday” includes a fully strummed guitar, and thus it’s fully a pop tune complimented by a folky tambourine masked by reverb. But that soon subsides back into the lighter side of things. Later, “More Of This” will pick up a similar vibe and ultimately find itself as the album’s pinnacle song.

Throughout Tight Knit, one is inundated with folk and pop instrumentation, but the vocals often fit a slightly different mold – soul. It can be heard from the poppy “On The Other Side” to the hip-swaying “Strictly Rule” to “Through The Front Door”. These are themes that flow from beginning to end, making Tight Knit just that – a tight, cohesive album filled with songs that flow well together, in a single, smooth motion. Yet they’re all different enough to make the album interesting, and thus thoroughly enjoyable.

Vetiver: Everyday [mp3]

Tight Knit by Vetiver

Sub Pop [CD, 2009]

1. Rolling Sea
2. Sister
3. Everyday
4. Through The Front Door
5. Down From Above
6. On The Other Side
7. More Of This
8. Another Reason To Go
9. Strictly Rule
10. At Forest Edge

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