Devendra Banhart’s foray into the soul-crushing world of major record labels must’ve left him a bit shell-shocked, because since the release of What Will Be (TMT Review) in 2009, courtesy of Warner Bros, he’s been mostly, but not entirely, missing in action — popping up now and again for both short-lived collaborations and abbreviated (in my personal experience) live performances. He opened for Swans in Los Angeles about a year-and-a-half ago, and if I recall correctly, illness prevented him from exceeding the 20-minute mark. Or maybe, just maybe… he was symbolically expressing how sick he was of all the suits representing him! I’ve been reading too many novels lately.
2013 will see the formal return of that Spanish-speaking folk musician. On an as-yet unspecified date, Banhart will be releasing Mala on Nonesuch. He and bandmate Noah Georgeson produced the album, and that’s about it as far as details go at the moment. Stay tuned!