The inside scoop,
direct from the horse’s (label’s) mouth… and hey, where’d the beard go?!?
By Blurt Staff
So you’ve heard that Devendra Banhart signed to Warner
Brothers and that incoming is his label debut, What Will We Be. Here’s what we are being told about the record:
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.
The basic recording line-up was Devendra on vocals and
guitar; Noah Georgeson (producer of Banhart’s last two albums, Little Joy, Bert
Jansch and Joanna Newsome) 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. All the musicians involved played a part in arranging the songs
recorded. Devendra and company took up residence in a private home, North of
San Francisco, and set up a recording studio in it.
is the second album Devendra’s 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 Devendra and 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