Devendra Banhart is well aware of how good he’s got it right now. While he’s taken a financial hit by not being able to tour and has the occasional freakout about the state of the world, the singer-songwriter is in a comfortable enough position to be able stay home and stay busy. He’s continued to work, demoing a new record that he’s making with his regular collaborator Noah Georgeson and, with his longtime backing band, remotely recording a dreamy, elegiac cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Franklin’s Tower” …
On Devendra Banhart’s Ma, the singer/songwriter settles into an easy stroll, singing in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, referencing Carole King and Haruomi Hosono, and focusing on maternal love and beauty. “I still turn to art to make a very lonely situation suddenly much more manageable and agreeable or a very beautiful situation even more ecstatic, even more beautiful.”
Equinox edition. Welcome to the September episode of our monthly Transmissions Podcast, our series of conversations with musicians and artists about why—and how—their art exists. This time out, Aquarium Drunkard founder Justin Gage sits down at AD HQ with Devendra Banhart to spin selections and discuss his new album, Ma. Then, Jason P. Woodbury joins Throwing Muses founder, solo artist, and writer Kristin Hersh backstage to discuss future sounds from Throwing Muses and Don’t Suck, Don’t Die, her book about her friend, the departed Vic Chesnutt. And to close out, Jason rings up Bill Orcutt, whose latest release, the sparse electric guitar noir, Odds Against Tomorrow, sees release October 11th.
A spiritual successor to Golden Apples of the Sun, the recent compilation Fragments du Monde Flottant proves Devendra Banhart’s ears fully intact. Released by the Genève, Switzerland based Bongo Joe Records, Fragments again finds the singer-songwriter in a curatorial role, culling demo recordings from his labyrinth of friends, acquaintances and musical compatriots.
It’s telling that my favorite Devendra track is “Seahorse” off 2007’s Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon . At once a dusky Topanga folk jam, a Doors-style rave up and inspired psych workout, the song […]