Song of the Day: Vetiver – Wonder Why

photo by Lori Paulson

Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased tracks, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Afternoon Show with Kevin Cole, is “Wonder Why” by Vetiver from the 2011 album The Errant Charm on Sub Pop.

Vetiver – Wonder Why (MP3)

Andy Cabic and his band Vetiver have been most commonly associated with the off-beat “freak” folk of contemporaries like Devandra Banhart and Joanna Newsom, and since their self-titled debut release in 2004, the band has lived up to such comparisons, releasing a steady stream of low-key folk records with their fair share of eccentricities. Though Banhart is no longer an official member of the band, the tradition lives on through Cabic and, as of 2009, Sub Pop, who released that year’s amazing album Tight Knit, Vetiver’s first cut of original material since 2006’s To Find Me Gone.

The Errant Charm, released on June 14, is the sophomore release on Sub Pop, and sees Cabic and company churning out more of the same quirky, easy-to-listen-to folk, except this time with maybe more of a wandering curiosity – the album’s songs were supposedly inspired by Cabic’s walks around San Francisco’s Richmond District. On “Wonder Why,” however, the album’s standout track and today’s featured song, the band takes a more streamlined approach to folk pop, creating a up-beat, briskly-paced gem that couldn’t be an easier on the ears. The song is full of delicate finger-picking, an economical use of perfectly-timed chord strummings, and Cabic’s smooth airy vocals taking a cheerfully optimistic stance on the questions the future poses.

Seeing as the album was only released on June 14, Vetiver should probably be touring soon, right? Well, we’re in luck! They hit the road August 5, when they’ll be playing the wonderful Pickathon Festival in Oregon. Not long after that they’ll be in Seattle for Bumbershoot on Sunday, September 4. For more tour info, visit the band’s Sub Pop page. In the meantime, check out the video for “Wonder Why” right here:

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