For the first time, Grammy-nominated folk-rocker Devendra Banhart will bring his distinctive sound to central Florida when he performs at The Beacham later this month. Citing everyone from Grace Jones to Guns N’ Roses as influences, Banhart draws on this eclectic musical knowledge to create intimate songs that blend and defy genres. His latest album, Ape in Pink Marble, was released September of last year and is the artist’s most accessible work to date, but it never loses the darkness or charm for which he is famous.
Devendra Banhart has been making music for nearly two decades, beginning around the time he dropped out of art school and seems to have busked his way up and down the coast of California. In interviews he has said he is unsure if he likes the music he creates, only sure that he likes the process of creation, which makes a lot of sense when you consider he designed the cover artwork for most of his albums and released a coffee-table art book titled “I Left My Noodle on Ramen Street.”
Upon releasing his first albums, 2002’s Oh Me Oh My and 2004’s Niño Rojo, Banhart emerged as a preeminent voice of the psychedelic folk scene. These early recordings are marked by a low-fi grit coupled with beautiful, longing refrains. In later releases, like Cripple Crow and What Will We Be, he trades acoustic for electric, experiments with synthesizers, and continues to embrace his South American roots. It’s no surprise that by his ninth studio release, Banhart’s sound is significantly more polished and poppy. The opening line of his previous record, Mala from 2013, literally urges you to dance and there are obvious hints of disco, but it has the melancholic irreverence that old-school fans fell in love with.
Devendra Banhart will take the stage Friday, February 24th at The Beacham. If you enjoy Sufjan Stevens, Cat Power, or Beck, grab a ticket because they’re going fast! I’ve got my fingers crossed for an ethereal rock-and-roll fantasy land. Tickets are 22.50 in advance, 25.00 day of show and doors open at 7pm. You can buy tickets daily at Park Ave CDS or at the Social/Beacham box office during show hours. — Rhiannon Bowen