Vetiver – Up On High
Up On High sees Vetiver make the best album of their career, and just about the sweetest Sunday morning record you’ve ever heard
For their seventh album, Vetiver marry the folkier roots of their earlier records (2004's Vetiver; 2006's To Find Me Gone) with the shinier pop noise we heard on 2015 gem, Complete Strangers.
On opener The Living End, Andy Cabic sings 'Cold comfort’s all you find', in a voice that's half Chet Baker and half Mark Eitzel. Accompanied by gentle acoustic guitars and the quiet shuffle of drums, this is music that feels like medicine for your soul. To Who Knows Where ploughs a similar furrow; simple, laid-back, sun-kissed. Cabic’s vocal melody – 'Is there any way to prove I care / To show love’s there / How can I let you know?' – is like an old friend, arm slung around your shoulders. Throw in some pedal steel and you’ve got a beautiful noise.
And then we hit Swaying. This is pop Vetiver, last seen on Loose Ends from Complete Strangers. If you caught this coming out of the radio, you’d make it number one, and Vetiver would be the biggest band on the planet. Up on High moves up a powerful notch from here and then never slips back.
Yes, the mood is predominantly folk, acoustics underpinned by unfussy electric guitar, but there are songs here that rank as the best of Vetiver’s career. Much like Swaying, Wanted, Never Asked is the kind of immediate pop record you hear once and want to play until you know its every bait and switch. 'What’s passed is passed', says Cabic, sounding better than ever. And it keeps on giving – A Door Shuts Quick, Filigree and the title track are all gems.
All of which goes to make the best album of Vetiver's career. Provided we all agree that Nick Drake’s Pink Moon is as good as Sunday morning music gets, Up On High is just about the sweetest Sunday morning record you’ve ever heard.
Listen to: Swaying, Wanted, Never Asked, Up On High