Maybe "New American Weird" just means that you play constantly evolving music rooted in folk and take it to interesting, cosmic places without consciously trying to go psychedelic. If that's the case, then Devendra Banhart is exactly that. Never fitting easily into any genre straitjacket, his catalogue can easily confound, because Banhart doesn't play it safe when it comes to songwriting, instrumentation or singing style. Early in his career, he came to the attention of Michael Gira, who put out Oh Me Oh My on the Young God imprint in 2002. Banhart has since proved a prolific songwriter and has collaborated with Beck and Antony and the Johnsons. His latest album, 2013's Mala, is arguably his most fully realized work to date; on it, he sounds a bit like Harry Nilsson filtered through psych bossa nova lounge.
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