Devendra Banhart To Release Two New Albums In 2004, Tour
pitchforkmedia.com | Rob Mackey
All music guaranteed to have been recorded in his underwearOccasionally, the trademark tangential tangle of a Pitchfork intro sentence can get in the way of the actual story. Sure, Ashford Tucker may know how to whip up a mean Manhattan cheesecake, but finding the correlation between his culinary confections and the latest M83 single tends to prove rather difficult (by the way, Tucker, the fondue you brought to last year's Christmas party was pretty damn slammin').
Keeping that in mind, I'll do all you faithful readers, and our old friend Devendra Banhart, the favor of forgoing a longwinded spiel about how his music simultaneously calls to mind the yellowed blues-stomp of Mississippi Fred McDowell and the psych-folk arrhythmia of Marc Bolan's early work. I won't make mention of how it elicits the same confused secrecy of Jandek's catalog and the mythical wonder of Comus' First Utterance. I'll skip over the part where I dotingly recount the scene of my first hearing Oh Me Oh My... , Banhart's 2002 Young God debut, and I'll even cut right to the chase: Brooklyn, NY's Devendra Banhart is releasing a new album on April 26th.
Recorded in the thick Georgian woods at the home of Mussel Shoals studio veteran Lynn Bridges, Rejoicing In The Hands contains sixteen songs culled from a whopping thirty-two Banhart recorded during the session (the other sixteen tracks are set for release under the name Nino Rojo in late September).
Compelled by a desire to accentuate Banhart's songwriting and guitar playing, Young God owner M. Gira and the troubadour himself decided to axe the tape-hiss and handmade aesthetic of Oh Me Oh My... , forsaking broken four-tracks and answering machines in favor of Bridges' quality vintage gear. "Devendra sat on his stool in the living room for ten days, twelve hours a day, and played, constantly. We set up a mic for his voice, a few for his guitar, and one or two in the room, and that's what you hear, for the most part, on these recordings," Gira told Pitchfork.
The rest was added upon returning to the Apple-- a judicious amount of overdubs, tracked by a swarm of musicians including the English folkstress Vashti Bunyan, and Angels of Light accomplices Thor Harris and Joe McGinty. "There're [pianos] and vibraphones and marimbas," said Banhart in a recent email correspondence with the 'Fork. "A bit of drums and congas for the new age spirit that permeates the record." Indeed, a drastic shift from the guitar-only approach of Oh Me Oh My... , but quite tasteful in execution according to Gira, who promises that the songs "were so good in their raw
state that there was no need to bolster them with sonic fluff or cheap impact. So, there's a few sounds entering and leaving at will here and there, but hopefully they simply set a context." Tracklist:
01 This Is The Way
02 A Sight To Behold
03 The Body Breaks
05 Dogs They Make Up The Dark
06 Will Is My Friend
07 This Beard Is For Siobhan
08 See Saw
09 Tit Smoking In The Temple of
10 Rejoicing In The Hands
12 Todo Los Dolores
13 When The Sun Shone On Vetiver
14 There Was Sun
15 Insect Eyes
16 Autumn's Child
In related Banhart news, the balladeer has a few festival dates lined up for the coming months, and then a full-scale tour in the works for the month of June. He'll be decorating the Noise Pop festival with fanciful whimsy and crack folk on February 28th, and playing alongside Drag City and Holy Mountain acts at SXSW on March 13th. Joining him on the road in June will be Vetiver, to whom he dedicates a song on Rejoicing , and Drag City's innocent yet wistful Joanna Newsom. Fancy some dates?
02-28 San Francisco, CA - Swedish Cultural Hall (Noise Pop)
03-18 Austin, TX - Ritz Lounge (SXSW)