Sometimes you turn over a rock in the back yard and discover a gemstone you’ve been hoping to find to illuminate your senses. The discovery becomes a prism that takes you on a journey of thought, wonderment and mirth. The prism refracts and reveals the acid-folk music universe where Devendra Banhart is standing at it’s center. Devendra Banhart is a psych folk cultural icon, a natural mystic who is shaping, defining and adding art/dimension/intrigue to an unfolding multi-layered music genre.
I know I’m late to the party here but there’s still a slice of cake to indulge upon. I first discovered Devendra Banhart as a new folk artist featured in the Vanity Fair, November 2007, Folk Music Explosion portfolio.
Next thing I know I start seeing more references about him on the front cover of music magazines. Uncut Magazine features Devendra Banhart personal compilation of artists he likes, which was stuck as a CD sampler to the front cover titled, Love Above All, 11 tracks Inside the Mind of the Acid-Folk King. The CD is extremely listenable (unlike other samplers which are disjointed) abundant in vivid, colorful, influences that yield to discovery and personal enjoyment. The artists include Papercuts singing Unavailable, Kyle Tomzo’s Bicycle and Hecuba’s Peace and Money. Several of the artists featured on this CD sampler don’t have record contracts. Several are from Gnomonsong Recordings, an adventurous, fun, how it used to be way back when in San Francisco psychedlic days, record label.
Devendra Banhart is featured on the cover of Harp Magazine this month. He’s hit the trifecta in magazines appearances folks. You should definitely check him and this music idiom out for your listening pleasure. Acid-folk music is a tribute to and a furtherance of such 60’s artists as Pentangle, The Incredible String Band and the mystic flower child Donovan.
As I learn about this subculture music and art scene, I’ll try to write additional updates here.