Release Date: May 13, 2008
Record label: Fatcat
Genre(s): Rock, Alternative
Thing of the Past succeeds on three different fronts. Certainly, excellent song selection is one, inspired musicianship and arrangements another, but the actual sound of the recording is equally important in putting Thing of the Past across. It is immediate, warm, and very present. Capturing the live takes as laid-back, front porch performances permeates every cut here -- even if some of the songs weren't intended to be cut that way.
Two years on from cult favourite To Find Me Gone, Vetiver is back with a new record, but it’s not exactly the record I was expecting. Andy Cabic’s loosely defined collective has never quite conformed to the new folk rules, frequently incorporating 70s West Coast rock and Brazilian influences into its sound, and this latest unexpected turn will undoubtedly prompt a few raised eyebrows. So here’s the deal – Vetiver’s third album is a covers record.
To Find Me Gone, Vetiver’s previous LP, didn’t generate a lot of buzz when it was released two years ago, but it’s insinuated itself into my life in a way that few recent records have. Thing of The Past is Andy Cabic’s first release since, and is made up entirely of other people’s songs, mostly of the also-ran '70s singer-songwriter variety – the best-known artists covered here are Townes Van Zandt (“Standing”), Loudon Wainwright III (“The Swimming Song”), and Hawkwind (“Hurry on Sundown”). Thing of The Past is, if anything, even more of a grower than its predecessor.