Vetiver

(San Francisco, California)

Vetiver started out as the project of singer-songwriter Andy Cabic. Cabic grew up listening to his parent’s records, mainly soft-rock legends Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and America. As a teenager, he started getting interested in indie-rock and played in the North Carolina band The Raymond Brake. The band ended, Cabic moved to San Francisco and started playing acoustic guitar, after losing his electric guitar in an accident. Cabic met Devendra Banhart and the pair started playing together, working on what would become the first Vetiver album.

Vetiver (2004) is an intimate collection of folk-driven songs featuring a plethora of guest artists, including Joanna Newsom on harp, Colm O’Ciosoig (My Bloody Valentine) on drums and Hope Sandoval (Mazzy Star) on vocals. The presence of these artists as well Cabic’s ties with Banhart brought the album reasonable attention from the independent music press.

On his follow-up, To Find Me Gone (2006), Andy Cabic surrounded himself with a full band (including Espers’ Otto Hauser on bass) and headed towards a more rock-based sound. Cabic truly found his voice as a songwriter on this album whose longer, psychedelic country jams masterfully blend his early soft-rock influences with folk music. Thing of the Past, released in 2008, featured a collection of covers from Cabic’s folk influences, most notably Michael Hurley and Ian Matthews.

Cabic continues to release albums and tour with Vetiver, their latest record being Complete Strangers (2015). Andy Cabic also runs the Gnomonsong label with Devendra Banhart, although rather inactive in recent years. He has also collaborated and toured with Vashti Bunyan.