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Devendra Banhart Eyes Fall Release


09/03/2009
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(Filter) Devendra Banhart exploded on the international music scene in 2002 quickly winning a coterie of devoted fans as well as an unusually hefty amount of critical kudos right from the outset. His latest release is What Will We Be, recorded in a sleepy Northern California town throughout the Spring of 2009 co-produced by Devendra and Paul Butler (from UK outfit Band Of Bees). The international media's acclaim and the size of his audience both at home and abroad earned by his debut Oh Me Oh My The Way The Day Goes By The Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs Of The Christmas Spirit was impressive to begin with and has increased dramatically with each subsequent release. What Will We Be is his label debut for Warner Brothers Records.

The basic recording line-up- with Banhart on vocals and guitar; Noah Georgeson (producer of Banhart's last two albums, Little Joy, Bert Jansch and Joanna Newsom) on guitar and backing vocals, Greg Rogove (Priestbird) on drums and backing vocals; Luckey Remington (The Pleased) on bass and vocals and Rodrigo Amarante (Los Hermanos, Little Joy) on guitar and backing vocals- also included all the musicians involved played a part in arranging the songs recorded.

What Will We Be has a sunny, breezy feel with performances that evoke warm, lazy afternoons spent with good friends. The album is dominated by powerfully melodic, mid-tempo numbers played with relaxed expertise. But there's also ambitious stylistic range displayed with the inclusion of evanescent ballads like "Meet Me At Lookout Point," the epic riff-rocker "Rats" sprightly R&B flavored groovers on "Baby," and the sultry Latin-flavored stunner "Brindo," the Roxy-inspired "16th & Valencia, Roxy Music" among other pleasant surprises.

This is the second album Banhart has recorded with the same crew of players and all involved sound thoroughly comfortable, familiar and in synch with one another. It's accomplished, focused and straightforwardly handsome. Where Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon sounded like friends brainstorming, sharing off-beat ideas and licks, What Will We Be sees them first and foremost addressing the particular needs of each individual composition. The vocal arrangements are noticeably more intricate yet crystalline with lush harmonies running through many of these numbers. The instrumental performances are still relaxed but very much on target.

Devendra Banhart has emerged as one of the most fascinating, unpredictable and inspiring artists of his generation and with What Will We Be he continues to surprise and delight an ever-increasing audience of fans and critics alike.



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