Vashti Bunyan Tune from New Devendra Banhart Compilation

I will admit to being way into Devendra Banhart; I loved his early work, and even more so, his later, more polished pieces. He’s always been well-regarded by his peers, or its seemed as such to me, so when he announced his new compilation, I perked right up. So, over the years he’s been collecting demos from the people he admires most, with heavy-hitters like Arthur Russell, Jana Hunter, Tim Presley and Vashti Bunyan. The Bunyan track is below, delicate in its presentation; you can also find the track on Lookafteing from 2005. The Fragments du Monde Flattant will be released on March 1st, limited to only 2000 copies worldwide, courtesy of Bongo Joe Records.

Quiet, Beautiful Cover From Mutual Benefit

If you weren’t already aware, Mutual Benefit will be releasing a full album covering Vashti Bunyan’sJust Another Diamond Day on June 23. To entice you to listen to that full album, Jordan Lee, the man behind the moniker, has released the title track of this cover album for your delight. It’s a simple and quiet tune, but it’s subtle beauty is somewhat overwhelming. Delicate guitar and banjo sounds fill your speakers while Lee’s vocals are soft and waiver smoothly with the low violin patterns. Take a listen below and become smitten with this flawless track.

[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/328593391″ params=”color=00aabb&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]

Vetiver – Tight Knit

vetiver-tight_knit-album_artRating: ★★★★☆

Andy Cabic and Co. return with a loud whisper this outing with definitely their strongest album they have recorded to date.  Vetiver’s new release Tight Knit warms your ears through the cold days without all the embarrassment.  Having been part of the freak-folk scene in New York for awhile, Vetiver rubbed elbows with some of the heavy-weights on the music circuit today like Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom which soon led them to a tour with Vashti Bunyan. Fast-forward to 2009 and Vetiver are now signed to Sub-Pop with some indie credibility and major promotion/distribution to follow. I was reading a couple weeks ago in the Austin Chronicle about bands set to break-out at this year’s SXSW Music Fest and Vetiver were listed.  HAAAAAAAAAA! They probably think this is Vetiver‘s first album. I mean, it’s not like they haven’t been making waves on the last two efforts. I’d say To Find Me Gone was their “break-out” album, but I guess they aren’t big enough considering they aren’t playing in arenas right? Pfft…scoff-scoff, nose up and pinkies out suckas.

Tight Knit has a dreamy floating quality to it through-out that normally would sound like  a lot of fluff to someone who hasn’t heard the album yet, but take a gander at it and you’ll see. The warmth of the vibraphone being used in the opener “Rolling Sea” immediately calms your nerves and gently rocks you back and forth. Zzz……….ahhhhhhh. Lap steel guitar makes it’s first appearance on the album in “Sister.” The layer of the instrument twists and pulls, breathes in and out, making you tap your feet and skip down the street. The skipping soon picks up to hopping when the opening rhythm chords of “Everyday” begin. The chug-a-lug feel comes to a nice vocal break-down and goes right back into the hopping. If there were a song which made you feel like the first day of spring had arrived, this is the one.

Cabic has a whispering way of singing that soothes your skin, his delivery is like the breeze– not forceful, not un-noticed, just a hammock away from day-dreaming. Though there are bar room stomper songs like “More Of This,” he never loses his velvet luster. You think the singing could easily give way to screaming and howling, but it’s just not in his nature.

The album is consistent from beginning to end. It never trails off boring you with a better half of the album than the other. Maybe this is Vetiver’s break-out album and I’m a jaded jerk-off. Maybe I’m just a music dork that has way too much time on his hands. Maybe you need to get off your ass and buy this album.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/everyday.mp3]

Download: Vetiver – Everyday [MP3]