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Vetiver's 'Errant' album is a charmer perfect for strolling



When fans talk about albums by the folk-rock group Vetiver, they often describe them as soundtracks to summer activities such as hosting a barbecue or lying in a hammock.

So when singer-guitarist Andy Cabic suggested that the band’s new album, “The Errant Charm,” was a nice thing to listen to while taking a walk, people went with it — maybe a little more than he wanted them to.

amNewYork spoke with Cabic, who tried to clear up that misunderstanding.

Is this album supposed to be the soundtrack to a nice walk? Not at all. I said it would be good to put in while going for a walk. People talk about it like I’m a prolific walker or the album is about walking. I didn’t walk for miles to make this record.

You started recording this album by yourself. When did you decide it should become a Vetiver project? Vetiver is always a solo thing in that I write the songs by myself; it’s a group project when it comes time to record or perform live. I like taking the ideas in my head and putting them through someone else’s hands and heart to see what happens.

Did you add more electronic elements as a way of expanding beyond your folk roots? It’s a misperception that I have folk roots. I’m not from Appalachia and wasn’t raised with a banjo in my hand. I played in a Sonic Youth-derived indie-rock band in college … But there are things that people have come to expect from Vetiver. I try to expand on that with broader arrangements.

Where did the pop elements on the album come from? These songs were sunny to begin with, but I wanted to use more 12-string guitar and more jangle, and that will give a sound more shimmer. I thought my music was pop all along — not in the sense of being popular, but in that I don’t shy away from harmony and melody and try to write catchy songs.


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