The Clientele, Vetiver
Cat's Cradle—"I think if the next record, this record, makes us rich, we'll be together. Put it that way," Alasdair MacLean, frontman for the consistently brilliant London band The Clientele, told me in May in an interview for Pitchfork Media, laughing as he finished his second sentence. Indeed, for almost a year, MacLean's insisted The Clientele's latest album, the hazy and chiming Bonfires on the Heath, might also be its last. And you can't blame him, really: Bolstered by one of the more graceful rhythm sections in indie rock, MacLean cooed his way through five of the past decade's most quietly memorable masterpieces only to be met both at home and abroad by fervent cult audiences and mainstream avoidance. The Clientele's oeuvre is a subtle one, their muted pop melodies built to contrast the intense but understated anxiety of MacLean. Somehow, he sings of cold air blowing inside of the holes in skulls and the aimlessness of the hoi polloi with the charm of a dreamy Beatle.
Vetiver is led by former Greensboro musician Andy Cabic. After early associations with that hairy term of freak-folk (Cabic produced Devendra Banhart's Cripple Crow), Vetiver has finally pushed more to the pop end of its tender music. Last year's Tight Knit, their first album for Sub Pop, was awash in gentle melodies and gentler picking. Pay $13-$15 for the 8:30 p.m. show. See www.catscradle.com. —Grayson Currin