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New weird(er) America.As one of the standard bearers for what has (rather clumsily) been tagged “new weird America”, Devendra Banhart’s eccentric blend of crepuscular, creaky folk – both traditional and free – and hushed nu country/Americana has served him well across four albums to date. With Smokey… he’s hacked some intriguing new paths through the alt folk thicket, tapping his Venezuelan roots (for the lush, Tropicalia-toned Samba Vexillographica), desert-ravaged 50s doo-wop (on Shabop Shalom) and Tex-Mex balladry (Tonada Yanomaminista). It’s great to hear Banhart playing outside of type, and the swagger and muscle occasionally at work suit him surprisingly well.
Devendra Banhart - Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, released 24 September 07 on XL.
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