I have long held Devendra Banhart, and his music, at arm’s length. While historically not a huge devotee, there are a handful of his songs I come back to time and again, largely thanks to Arthur Magazine’s excellent ‘freak-folk’ comp, Golden Apples of The Sun, that Banhart curated in 2004. (Semi-related side note – Arthur is BACK in business, and will be “be going to press in a week with (their) most beautiful issue ever.”)

That being said, I am wayy excited to check out the upcoming (Sept 25th) Banhart record, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, in it’s entirety, as, so far, the teaser tracks and “Seahorse” video have been fantastic. “Seahorse” is of particular interest, as during its almost ten minute frame it splices together what feel like four different, separate songs, beginning with the low-key “freak folk” Banhart is known for, and ending with a dead-on Jim Morrison rock & roll rave up. For reals.

All sorts of guests are said to have been on hand during the recording of the LP, in California, including, surprisingly, Gael García Bernal, and, not so surprisingly, original neo-hippie, Chis Robinson.

Devandra Banhart :: “Seahorse” (off the upcoming LP, Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon)

With all this Devandra talk, I wanted to make sure and plug the pre-rocker Marc Bolan, who, not unlike Banhart, led a weirdo folk outfit, Tyrannosaurus Rex, prior to plugging his electric guitar into an amp with the late sixties re-configured T. Rex. As T. Rex’s legacy (rightfully) grows, Bolan’s previous psychedelic incarnation slips a little farther back in the story, which is a shame as Bolan’s Tolkienian inspired, pastoral, folk jams were not only good, they provided a blueprint for much of what has been considered ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘unique’ in the neo-folk genre here in the 21st century. Here are two tracks off the reissued Tyrannosaurus Rex LP Unicorn.

MP3: Devandra Banhart :: Seahorse
MP3: Devandra Banhart :: Tonada Yanomaninista (myspace rip)

MP3: Tyrannosaurus Rex :: Chariots of Silk
MP3: Tyrannosaurus Rex :: Cat Black (The Wizard’s Hat)
Amazon: Devandra Banhart – Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon
Amazon: Tyrannosaurus Rex – Unicorn

++ www.myspace.com/devendrabanhart ++ emusic

+ Download
Devandra Banhart via eMusic’s 25 free MP3 no risk trial offer
+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Devandra Banhart & T. Rex MP3s

10 Responses to “Devendra Banhart & T. Rex’s Unicorn (Re-revisited)”

  1. seahorse is completely and utterly awesome.

  2. I was glad to see the Swiffer at the end. I was wondering how they handled all the fallen beard hair in that house.

    Also spotted in the video: Elliot Roberts, their manager as well as Neil Young’s.

  3. This may sound off – but was that the actor Gael Garcia Bernal (Motorcycle Diaries, Science Of Sleep, Babel) maybe a quarter through the “Seahorse” video, just listening?

  4. We are in the presence of greatness….

  5. brian, yeah, that was Gael Garcia Bernal in the vid. he contributes vocals on the album

  6. Thanks for this. I can’t wait for the rest.

  7. My wife played Banhart for me the first time and I believe I said, “Is that some older Marc Bolan?” I still can’t listen to him without picturing Bolan playing. Thanks for the post.

  8. I’m with HL. I believe that Banhart can only sound fresh and inspired to people who aren’t already familiar with Bolan, who in Unicorn made an album that Banhart will never come within a mile of. I still have yet to hear a single Banhart song that sounds original to me–‘Seahorse’ just seems like a patchwork of imitiations. To those who hear something more, I’m glad you enjoy it.

  9. […] Sorry for the lack of updates around Naturalismo this past week, I’ve been extremely busy. Naturalismo has a little over a week to find a place to live in San Francisco and get a job, which is difficult but exciting. So if you’re working somewhere fun that’s hiring let me know, I’m looking for a job in music PR or advertising, but would be open to other areas. Regular and more frequent updates should start again in a little over a week when I am in SF, but I will try my hardest to update as often as possible until then. In the meantime, Devendra Banhart has released a new video titled ‘Devendra gets superstitious’ showcasing his process of writing a new song. Also, here’s a roundup of links allowing you to download tracks from the upcoming Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon… perfect for those end of summer mix-tapes. Devendra Banhart – Tonada Yanomaninista  […]

  10. Fantastic! Anything that points people to Unicorn or A Beard of Stars deserves a pat on the back.

    Lose thyself x

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