A few years back I fell accidentally into owning a copy of Vetiver's fourth album "Tight Knit," and believe me I was glad I did.

The melodies and retro songcraft formed a continual fave - and in this day and age of continual overwhelming music overload it passed the ultimate test: It never fell off my iPod.

As a result, I eagerly put on the Southern California band's fifth release "The Errant Charm," this week and braced for a letdown, but was surprised to discover the album exceeds their 2009 release.

And even though it's hardly the most hyped new album of the year - or even among them - "Charm' is also a release that refuses to leave the music player. From the opening notes of dreamy pop-rock of "It's Beyond Me," though the solid craftsmanship of "Fog Emotion," and "Wonder Why," there's no drop off from the first album.

In fact, songs like the Pink Floyd-ish "Faint Praise," and the bittersweet charm of "Right Away" largely exceed much, if not all, of the last album. Much of the album sounds like a time-machine meeting of Big Star, Tom Petty and The Jayhawks.

With Vetiver's lead vocalist Andy Cabic's signature laid-back vocals and its guitar-heavy sound, they have also achieved a signature sound that avoids having songs that sound the same. And that's no mean feat. And based on the positive buzz the release is gathering, Vetiver might be poised to find a larger audience.

Here's guessing this release will end up on a lot of writers' year-end Top Ten lists. It's a safe bet it'll be on mine.

Follow Salt Lake magazine arts/entertainment writer Scott Murphy on Twitter @murphyinfo.