Covers albums are a dime a dozen these days. From rock superstars (Bruce Springsteen) to indie icons (Cat Power), reinterpreting songs from the past is like a virus, spreading throughout the ranks of the music world.
But Vetiver’s Things of the Pastis so much more than your standard covers album; rather, it is an invitation to the past, a sepia-toned vault of obscure covers that bandleader Andy Cabic calls favorites. The 12 readings range from the jangling “House” (Elyse Wienberg) to the brooding “Lon Chaney” (Garland Jeffreys). Vashti Bunyan augments the lilting “Sleep A Million Years”(Dia Joyce) and Michael Hurley joins the quintet during a rambling take on his own “Blue Driver.”
Things of the Pastis a treasure trove of underrated songs delivered with a mellow warmth that fits the tone of the collection. Vetiver has not only dusted off these compositions, but it has improved upon them, bringing them into the present and with class and style.
Things of the Past is now out on Gnomonsong.