This is especially true of Complete Strangers. Mellower than its predecessor, 2011's The Errant Charm, Strangers finds Cabic collaborating again with Thom Monahan (who has engineered and co-produced all six Vetiver albums) on 10 tracks that are part ambient L.A. haze, part funky retro lounge and partly something else entirely.
Slow-building opener "Stranger Still" eventually crescendos in a lush Talking Heads-ish drum and keyboard landscape replete with horns, before disintegrating; it doesn't feel like the seven-minute song that it is. Acoustic guitar and organic textures come in for the reflective (and shorter) "From Now On" before giving way to a vintage drum machine on the bubbly and syncopated "Current Carry."
Complete Strangers isn't all easy-breezy good vibes, though: shadows enter on darkly danceable "Confiding" and linger during "Backwards Slowly," a song that withholds its twisting harmonies until about two-thirds of the way through.
The album continues to shoot off in different directions: sharp, jangly tambourine-roots-pop ("Loose Ends"); effervescent nostalgic calypso ("Time Flies," with Devendra Banhart on guitar); weary and reverb-drenched balladry ("Edgar"). It's all stitched together in a way that projects a lazy vibe, while no doubt requiring a crafty underpinning. (Easy Sound)