VETIVER return in late Spring with their fifth album, “The Errant Charm”, released 13th June on Bella Union records…
“The Errant Charm” is a superb soundtrack for an afternoon idyll. Vetiver bandleader Andy Cabic spent hours wandering the streets around San Francisco’s Richmond District, listening to rough mixes, tinkering with lyrics and arrangements. The album opens with “It’s Beyond Me”, a slow boil of acoustic guitar and vintage keyboards over a roomy beat. Here you’ll encounter almost every sonic idea showcased on “The Errant Charm”, the album’s universe distilled into one vibrant song.
As the summery “Can’t You Tell” unfurls, you’ll begin to pinpoint some of the album’s unifying elements, the integration of drum machines and a washed-out, ambient guitar sound, peppered with jangly flourishes. Then there’s “Hard To Break”, the hazy, layered harmonies and sunlight-dappled guitar evoking fond memories of Fleetwood Mac circa 1982’s “Mirage”.
Cabic and producer Thom Monahan have already made four Vetiver records together and know each other’s aesthetics well. It was time to experiment more, which was why Cabic didn’t arrive at Monahan’s Los Angeles studio with many completed songs. Instead, they started with lots of loose ideas and fleshed out the best bits. In some instances, they augmented or edited parts by themselves, and at other junctures they waited until the remaining Vetiver players could convene in one place to contribute. Those full band performances figure prominently in the album’s driving midsection… “Right Away”, “Wonder Why”, “Ride, Ride, Ride”… each of these selections is more propulsive and rocking than the one before it. Certainly that was Cabic’s intention for The Errant Charm, to push the dynamic range of Vetiver to previously unheard extremes.
The Errant Charm… Errant as in wayward, elusive. Wandering but not lost. Within that wandering, all manner of treasures waiting to be uncovered, and new ones that surface with each listen.
Taking Back Sunday just released a new single today, and even though they’re no longer an indie band I was gonna make an exception, ’cause hey, they’re effin’ Taking Back Sunday with the original line-up and some of us greet that kind of news with excitement most people reserve for the return of major deities.
Buuut they don’t need the press and the song isn’t really that good (*cough* go here anyway *cough*).
On the other hand, Portugal. The Man also dropped a new track today and it’s awesome, so that’s what we’re going with.
These guys never disappoint – from their roots as a more experimental, heavier avant funk/jam band, to their more straight-ahead 60s and 70s rock releases like the almost unbearably good The Satanic Satanist – they’ve dropped album after album of solid material. Clearly influenced by the Beatles here (I know, I know, who isn’t?), it’s safe to say their streak will be continuing. Listen to those strings!
Also, to anyone who checks this out on a regular basis, apologies for the lack of posts. Stay tuned, I’ve got something fun and a little different cooking that I’m gonna start next week.
Chris Cullari | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles |@Chris_Cullari | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC |
Hats off to Brooklyn’s recent finest, 62 year old Charles Bradley, who teams up with fellow motown vibin’ soul group The Menahan Street Band in this instant classic. The man has an unbelievable voice that stands out like the late James Brown, which you notice a whole lot more on his more recent release, “How Long”. This one here is all about the soul tones delivered in those sensational bass lines and bangin’ dub horns. Here is a track along side a growing list of classic 60s & 70s soul R&B sound like the more recent Mayer Hawthorne. Catch this hit along with the rest of Charles’ newest full length album, ‘No Time For Dreaming” at his website.
Posted in Independent Music, Music, New Music, New York
Tagged 60s, 70s, album, brooklyn, charles bradley, Funk, james brown, motown, Music, new york city, no time for dreaming, R&B, Soul, the menahan street band, the world