Under Review


To Find Me Gone (Fatcat Records)

Review By Arthur Krumins

Vetiver will appeal to fans of Devendra Banhart, Will Oldham and the whole Americana folk sound. On their latest, Vetiver proves they are the kind of band that can effortlessly play something beautiful and simple, with the kind of restraint that could burst forth at any moment. The music lies on a delicate balance of traditional and experimental sound, with enough variety between songs to keep things interesting. It may be a bit coffee shop for some, but this isn’t Jack Johnson by any stretch. The songs are careful and avoid the commercial pull with minimal production and at times whisper quiet vocals.

Apparently the Vetiver show in March was tight, and I’m sure these guys have a sense of their sonic debts as they brought along veteran out-folk artist Michael Hurley on their tour to open for them. As far as folk goes, this is deep music. Music for people who contemplate waves. I mean really contemplate waves. And like get into the patterns in the carpet and stuff. This is like Donovan Jr., in stereo and with a gorgeous arrangement of folk rock figures and a darkness that recalls the obscure Jackson C. Frank. But enough musical references.

For me, Vetiver wears thin on the songs where the strings are overused, something I don’t like in most recordings. Thankfully, this doesn’t happen much, and it’s a small and hesitant complaint on something I otherwise enjoy. To Find Me Gone progresses from the minimalism and simplicity of the band’s debut, adding vibes, organ and electric and slide guitar. The songs are overdubbed, and rock somewhat harder than the straight-ahead folk and bluegrass of their self-titled release. The more I listen to it, the more I like the album for its calm assurance.