VETIVER – Up On High (VJCD251P/LC 29868)

Up On HighVetiver is the vehicle for the music of Andy Cabic and the album Up On High was released earlier in November. Up On High is gentle, warm folk/folk-rock.

The album opens with ‘The Living End’, Paul-Simon-picking, a voice that has been likened to Nick Drake and to my ear also has echoes of post-Zombies Colin Blunstone. Hopefully, this gives you a sense of the mellowness of this album. You can hear just how mellow on the second track, ‘To Who Knows Where’, which is linked in the video below.

‘Swaying’ ups the tempo; hints – more than hints – of late 60’s west coast folk-rock are to the fore. ‘All We Could Want’ continues in the same mood. ‘Hold Tight’ continues the mellow theme, but adds a touch of funk to the mix. The second half of the album is opened with the bright sound of ‘Wanted Never Asked’, slows for ‘A Door Shuts Quick’ before bopping a little on ‘Filigree’. The album finishes with the infinite calm of ‘Up On High’ and ‘Lost (In Your Eyes)’.

Somewhere along the way the ambience of Up On High time-travels giving us a modern album with reminiscences of past sounds, from late 60’s west coast to well produced early 70’s folk and then on to early Indie music. It’s consequently no surprise to find that the album was written on acoustic guitar. It captures the warmth and tenderness of playing music with half a dozen friends close by – but (because it’s late) playing it quietly, gently by the tent at a festival or packed together in someone’s front room.

By chance, someone came by as I was playing Up On High, so I asked, “What do you think of this?”. My sense of the album was reaffirmed when I got the thoughtful reply, “I like it. It’s very listenable. I’d like to go to bed listening to this like I used to listen to Whispering Bob Harris when he was on in the early hours of a Sunday morning”. In a nutshell, I thought.

Vetiver are currently on tour in America, then come to the UK (with one date in Holland) from December 4th – 17th, before returning to mainland Europe again in January and February.

Mike Wistow

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‘To Who Knows Where’ – official video: