Devendra Banhart envelops himself in a search for emotional refuge on his new album Flying Wig. The Venezuelan-American artist will also be heading out on a global tour which will include a night at The Belasco in Los Angeles on December 7th. Produced with the help of fellow musician and producer Cate Le Bon the record immerses you into a sonic landscape replete with ethereal synths and blue-hued textures.
Banhart’s eleventh studio album arrives as an odyssey of the self — an inward journey that reconciles the paradoxical dualities of identity and emotion. One he fittingly recorded wearing the now iconic dress that graces the album’s cover (which Le Bon gifted him), as well as pearls that once belonged to his grandmother, in order to orient and access his more feminine side.
The result is a record of swelling introspection and engrossing soundscapes. The grandiosity of both is conveyed in the album’s opening song “Feeling,” a resounding and spacious soundscape in which Banhart searches hauntingly for some solace. “I’m looking for a feeling / Hard to explain,” he murmurs dulcetly. “I’m looking for a feeling / Might not come again.”
Sodden with such poignant melancholy, “Fireflies” offers a glimpse of ebullience in the glowing warble of strings and synths that radiate alongside Banhart’s forlorn words of regret. On the heavily shuddering “Sight Seer” he dives headfirst into tangles of paradox and revaluations of his art: “I’m singing no longer for fun / But as a form of protection.” Floating amongst the ebbing tides of dreamily wrought tones and colors that flow from “Sirens” he reckons again with the limitations of music — “It’s getting harder to sing / Impossible things” — even as he does just that.
On the album’s illustrious title track “Flying Wig” he embraces the vulnerability that comes with holding on tightly to one’s devotion to love, his strident vocals pressing themselves closely to warming riffs. While the decidedly funky “Twin” saunters forth via shimmering and sizzling guitars as Banhart’s deeply melodious voice rumbles alongside.
By the time you’re swept toward the album’s closing track, you find yourself buoyed by the oceanic feeling and careful tightrope that’s been walked between such potent feelings of hope and despair, love and emptiness. “The Party” dissipates all those feelings into its lilting and vaporous melody, as Banhart reconciles heartbreak as just another side of love.
See Devendra Banhart at The Belasco in Los Angeles on December 7th.
Devendra Banhart tour
Sept 23 Mexico City, MX Mexican Summer Fifteen Further at Teatro De La Ciudad Esperanza Iris
Oct 3 Iowa City, IA The Englert Theatre +
Oct 4 Chicago, IL Thalia Hall *
Oct 6 Toronto, ONT The Phoenix Concert Theatre *
Oct 7 Montreal, QC Corona Theatre *
Oct 8 Burlington, VT Higher Ground *
Oct 9 Boston, MA The Sinclair @
Oct 11 New York, NY Webster Hall @
Oct 12 Philadelphia, PA Union Transfer @
Oct 13 Asbury Park, NJ Asbury Lanes ^
Oct 14 Washington, DC The Howard Theatre #
Nov 7 Lisbon, PT Coliseu
Nov 8 Braga, PT Theatro Circo
Nov 10 Madrid, ES Palacio Municipal %
Nov 11 Valencia, ES La Rambleta %
Nov 12 Barcelona, ES Paral.lel 62 %
Nov 14 Paris, FR Le Grand Rex %
Nov 15 London, UK Troxy %
Nov 18 Lyon, FR Le Transbordeur %
Nov 19 Lausanne, CH Theatre de l’Octogone %
Nov 21 Milan, IT Auditorium Fondazione Cariplo %
Nov 22 Trieste, IT Teatro Politeama Rossetti %
Nov 23 Vienna, AT Globe %
Nov 25 Berlin, DE Passionskirche %
Nov 26 Hamburg, DE Kampnagel %
Nov 28 Amsterdam, NL Paradiso %
Nov 29 Brussels, BE Ancienne Belgique %
Dec 6 San Diego, CA Observatory North Park !
Dec 7 Los Angeles, CA The Belasco !
Dec 8 San Luis Obispo Fremont Theater +
Dec 9 San Francisco, CA The Fillmore !
Dec 11 Portland, OR Revolution Hall !
Dec 12 Seattle, Wa Neptune Theatre !
Dec 13 Vancouver, BC Commodore Ballroom !
! with Hayden Pedigo
* with Le Ren
@ with Miho Hatori
^ with Soma
% with John Moods
+ with Rogov
# with H. Hawkline
Words: Steven Ward
Listen to Flying Wig the new album from Devendra Banhart below!