Andy Cabic’s Vetiver will be releasing their first recording thru Gnomonsong – the label run by Andy and Devendra Banhart on January 29, 2008. “You May Be Blue” (Neighbors Version) b/w “Been So Long” (Neighbors Version). Having recently completed opening dates for pals The Shins, Andy headed to Europe to perform with Devendra Banhart’s live band Spiritual Bonerz.
Andy has written the bulk of a new studio album of original material that he hopes to record with Vetiver this Spring. In the meantime, Vetiver will be releasing an album of covers this April/May which the band recorded this past March. Among the songs they’ve recorded for the album are:
Hook & Ladder (Norman Greenbaum)
Houses (Elyse Weinberg)
Hurry On Sundown (Hawkwind)
Standing (Townes Van Zandt)
To Baby (Biff Rose)
But back to the 12″ to be released in January …during the recording and mixing of Vetiver’s acclaimed second album To Find Me Gone, producer Thom Monahan and Vetiver mainman Andy Cabic talked about doing something more “deconstrucive and electronic” than what they had previously done with Vetiver. “You May Be Blue” and “Been So Long” stood out for various reasons.
“The beginning of ‘You May Be Blue’ – the delayed Wurlitzer organ figure,” says Cabic, “On its own suggests what might follow could be quite different from the song that does.. [It also] promises some kind of electronic shuffle, and the remix is an opportunity to follow through. My favorite part of ‘Been So Long’ are the harmonies of Nathan, Rachel and myself, and I wanted to create an instrumental drone dub version of that song which focuses on the backing harmonies.”
Long-time studio partners Cabic and Monahan – aka “Neighbors” – built these remixes in spurts between their busy schedules. After a lot of layering and pro tooling, practically nothing of the original “You May Be Blue” remains; the bulk of the dark and danceable instrumentation consists of keyboards played by Cabic and Otto Hauser, and electronic drums played live by the both.
Cabic and Monahan reordered the basic tracks of “Been So Long” and added powerful new droney parts on the melodica and pedal steel by Farmer Dave Scher and the breathily intoned flute-playing of Alissa Anderson.
Much additional editing wizardry on the part of Monahan helped complete the metamorphosis of these tracks with new, unique characters that sit alongside the original versions.
Vetiver also recently contributed a track, “Idle Ties”as part of a special iTunes charity mix put together with Natalie Portman and other artists from the independent music community. The mix, Big Change: Songs for FINCA, directly benefits microfinance organization FINCA International, which gives loans to people living on less than $2 a day in the developing world so they can start small businesses that will help them lift themselves and their families out of poverty. All net proceeds from the album, which costs $7.99 on iTunes, go to FINCA’s Village Banking programs around the globe.
Watch the Village Banking Campaign on MySpace (myspace.com/villagebanking) and Facebook to keep up-to-date on the album’s success – and the huge impact contributors are making together for the world’s poor. Visit villagebanking.org to learn more.