Vetiver, “Complete Strangers”
Since the early 2000s, Vetiver has existed more as a moniker for songwriter Andy Cabic than an established Bay Area band. Musicians—both studio and live—have come and gone over the last thirteen years, with only Cabic and engineer/coproducer Thom Monahan remaining from day one. With this in mind, Vetiver’s solid place in the indie-rock genre is fitting, as the majority of his recordings imbue an undeniable intimacy that stems directly from Cabic’s calm, pacifying vocals atop his ever-gentle guitar. Complete Strangers is no deviation from this compositional style, with tracks like “From Now On” and “Shadows Lane” deserving a spot amongst the best of Vetiver recordings. Strangers has these untouchable highs, but it also has its lows—occasional moments superficial and bland (“Backwards Slowly”). Fortunately for Cabic, Complete Strangers’ musical peaks outweigh the album’s minor missteps.