Photo by Alissa Anderson
San Francisco’s Vetiver plays with the fluidity of the Grateful Dead, except the songs come in bite-sized packages. This may sound completely antithetical to the Dead’s longform freedom, but Vetiver can still hit the same highs. Their version of folk music is all-encompassing; lead singer Andy Cabic has the kind of style that’s as well-suited to country as it is to Laurel Canyon soft rock. Vetiver’s best album might just be 2008’s Thing Of The Past, a covers record that never felt like a covers record thanks to the band’s eclectic taste and ability to sink into the songs.
Last year’s Complete Strangers, Vetiver’s sixth album, is an atmospheric listen, showing off the band’s quiet confidence. Last week in our Studio 1A, the group’s interplay was on full display on these songs. “Current Carry” is hushed and focused on record, but live it sprawls, opening up like a Dead jam without overstaying its welcome.
Listen to Vetiver’s full Studio 1A session here.