Prep the ears for a supple pair of tracks from Devendra Banhart’s new ambient project with producer/engineer/longtime musical partner Noah Georgeson. “In A Cistern” and “Into Clouds” come from the duo’s forthcoming August release, Refuge, an ambient effort designed for deep listening.
“Cistern” is a dulcet lullaby of strings, piano, and slow-burning twang—and though Banhart’s vocals would be right at home here, nothing is missing from the finished instrumental product. “Clouds” carves a ruminative and brooding slow-pulse path that encompasses more electronic, but no less primitive, territory. Adding to this fourth world energy, the songs are visualized through an accompanying animated short that features Banhart and Georgeson as journeying snails, traversing human and natural landscapes.
The cohesive intimacy of Refuge is apparent, and nods to a supreme kinship between Banhart and Goergeson, a compatibility fostered not only through common thought, but Georgeson’s production involvement on a number of Banhart solo albums (among them Mala and Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon). Decades-long compatriots of New Age mindfulness and music appreciation, this blissful music is a welcome addition to their body of work. | k fortinsky