new album released Oct 27th

What Will We Be

from the album - Chin Chin & Muck Muck
YouTube - Devendra Banhart - Chin Chin & Muck Muck

from amg

Growing up in Caracas, Venezuela, and Los Angeles, Devendra Banhart was always playing music and drawing. But it wasn't until his brief stay at the San Francisco Art Institute that the disciplines became his constant companions. With the encouragement of poet and SFAI professor Bill Berskon, Banhart began experimenting with all kinds of art. He also began recording songs around that same time, usually on shoddy, hand-me-down four-track machines. Brief, half-finished, or written in stream-of-consciousness form, the recordings weren't initially intended for release. But friends encouraged Banhart, and he sent out a few tentative demos. He also left SFAI in favor of busking and wandering, and his travels led him from the Bay Area to Paris and eventually back to L.A. By now he was performing regularly, but he hadn't recorded or released anything officially. That changed when Michael Gira (Swans) issued the first Banhart material on his Young God imprint in October 2002. Oh Me Oh My... was an immediate critical hit, and comparisons to legends of songwriting, eclecticism, and tragedy were frequent (Tim Buckley, Syd Barrett, Marc Bolan, et al.). The Black Babies EP arrived in 2003, followed by Banhart's first full-length, Rejoicing in the Hands, in April 2004. Young God released its companion, Niño Rojo, in September. Acclaim for both was nearly unanimous, and Banhart's audience continued to expand. He jumped to XL for September 2005's Cripple Crow, an ambitious set and his most sonically expansive album up to that point. Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon continued in that vein, recorded at Banhart's new home studio in Topanga Canyon. A jump to Warner Bros. brought a more straight-forward set (relatively speaking), What Will We Be, in 2009.

album review

Setting aside the grand orchestrations of Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, Devendra Banhart's What Will We Be is everything its predecessor was not: straight-forward, cleanly produced, consistently laid-back (to nearly Jack Johnson proportions), and free of ambition. Banhart enlists the same band as last time (Noah Georgeson, Greg Rogove, Luckey Remington, and Rodrigo Amarante), but hired production whiz Paul Butler, whose records with A Band of Bees are some of the most striking productions of the 2000s. The double-tracked vocals give the album the same air as Banhart's early four-track experiments, but there's no haunted quality, just an occasional hippie-dippie aside in his delivery. Recorded in Northern California, What Will We Be often has the same slacker sensibilities and scent of ocean breeze that Jack Johnson has made his name with (read: funky white-bread basslines and closely miked drums played with plenty of whisk). Banhart's persona emerges intact despite the mainstream sound, however, and What Will We Be becomes a pleasantly fresh album to follow the ponderous, sprawling Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. [A limited edition version was also released.]

Track Listing
1 Can't Help But Smiling Banhart 02:25
2 Angelika Banhart 03:24
3 Baby Banhart 03:07
4 Goin' Back Banhart 03:44
5 First Song for B Banhart 03:00
6 Last Song for B Banhart 03:02
7 Chin Chin & Muck Muck Banhart 05:25
8 16th & Valencia Roxy Music Banhart, Georgeson 03:00
9 Rats Banhart, Butler, Georgeson ... 05:08
10 Maria Lionza Banhart 05:51
11 Brindo Banhart, Georgeson 03:43
12 Meet Me at Lookout Point Banhart 03:41
13 Walilamdzi Banhart 02:12
14 Foolin' Banhart 02:43