Tight Knit

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Andy Cabic's Vetiver have never been as far out as some of their indie folk compatriots like Devendra Banhart, and they've never been as outside as some of their influences (as detailed on 2008's album of covers Thing of the Past) might lead you to believe. Instead, their gentle, almost classic rock smooth sound is something you could play for just about anyone and not have a single eyebrow raised in any degree of alarm. That being said, Tight Knit is the group's slickest, tightest record so far. From the opening ballad "Rolling Sea" onward, Cabic and crew make music that can only be called easy listening. Not the kind you hear in a dentist's office, but the kind of music that makes no demands on you as a listener and just wraps you in cottony coziness. The lush beds of acoustic guitars, the gently swooping electric guitars, the rich vocal harmonies, and restrained percussion serve the tender and vulnerable lead vocals of Cabic perfectly; the simple melodies and drifting chord changes are unchallenging in the best sense of the word. Apart from the peppy, perfect for a soda pop commercial "Everyday" and the almost rocking in a lazy bar band way "More of This," the record is perfectly constructed for lazy days and hazy nights. It takes skill to create a record filled with so little energy and drive, and again, that's not a criticism though it probably sounds like it should be. Cabic is creating a mood here, an ode to tenderness and quiet that never wavers from its aims. Indeed if you're looking for a record to wake you or shake you, Tight Knit might drive you into a fury. If you want a record to lull you and tuck you in with a kiss on the forehead, then you're in luck. It might not be the best album Vetiver have made, but it's the most consistent and beguiling.

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