New Release & Tour: Devendra Banhart – Ma / Kantori Ongaku

Devendra Banhart announces his new album, Ma, out September 13th on Nonesuch Records. This is Banhart’s first album since 2016’s Ape in Pink Marble. Ma, bursting with tender, autobiographical vignettes, displays a shift from the sonic experimentation of his previous albums to an intricate, captivating story-telling and emotional intimacy. Banhart favours organic sounds to accompany his voice and guitar, the arrangements bolstered by strings, woodwinds, brass, and keyboards

He also debuts a surrealistic video for the first single, ‘Kantori Ongaku’…

‘Kantori Ongaku’ translates from Japanese to “country music” and is a nod to experimental pop legend Haruomi Hosono, a founding member of the influential electronic band Yellow Magic Orchestra. The song’s video features a full circle journey of vignettes that play on the dream-like quality of intimate activities. The video, colourfully directed by Giraffe Studios, also features guest cameos and a brief infomercial requesting donations to the I Love Venezuela Foundation

The simply titled Ma is Devendra Banhart’s third album for Nonesuch, one that addresses — often in a beguilingly oblique way — the unconditional nature of maternal love, the desire to nurture, the passing down of wisdom, the longing to establish the relationship of mother to child, and the consequences of that bond being broken. Banhart doesn’t approach the album’s maternal theme in a literal way; rather, by contemplating it, alluding to it, regarding the concept of motherhood from different angles, he has fashioned an album of multiple, intertwining narratives. Its concerns are both personal and global, with subtly autobiographical looks at life and death and ruminations about the precarious state of the world. The many light-hearted moments of Ma are balanced by deeply melancholic, even sombre ones. Three tracks are in Spanish, the language that is as much Banhart’s native tongue as English, and one in Portuguese

Banhart, who spent his childhood in Venezuela, has been profoundly affected by the poverty and despair he’s witnessed there. His concern over the dire situation in his motherland drew him back to the Spanish language: “My brother is in Venezuela, my cousins, my aunts and uncles. They are just holding their breath, in gridlock standstill. There’s this helplessness. This place that has been a mother to you, that you’re a mother to as well, and it’s suffering so much. There is nothing you can do but send out love and remain in that sorrowful state”

Banhart recently announced a twenty-four city North American tour for Autumn 2019, beginning September 27 in Dana Point, CA…

9/27/19 – Dana Point, CA @ OHANA Festival
10/15/19 – Ventura, CA @ The Majestic Ventura Theater
10/16/19 – San Francisco, CA @ The Fillmore
10/18/19 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
10/19/19 – Seattle, WA @ Moore Theatre
10/20/19 – Eugene, OR @ WOW Hall ^
10/22/19 – Berkeley, CA @ The UC Theatre
10/24/19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Theatre at Ace Hotel
10/25/19 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Yost Theater
10/26/19 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
10/27/19 – Phoenix, AZ @ Crescent Ballroom
10/30/19 – Boulder, CO @ Boulder Theater *
11/01/19 – Omaha, NE @ The Slowdown *
11/02/19 – Minneapolis, MN @ Varsity Theater *
11/03/19 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *
11/05/19 – Memphis, TN @ The Hi Tone *
11/07/19 – Austin, TX @ Stubbs (Levitation)
11/23/18 – Leon, Guanajuato Mx @ Tecate Bajio Festival
11/30/19 – Detroit, MI @ Museum of Contemporary Art *
12/01/19 – Toronto, ON @ Danforth Music Hall *
12/03/19 – Montreal, QC @ The Olympia *
12/04/19 – Boston, MA @ The Wilbur *
12/05/19 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Steel *
12/07/19 – Washington, D.C. @ 930 Club *
12/08/19 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *

* w/ Black Belt Eagle Scout
^ w/ Daniel Higgs

Banhart has partnered with PLUS1 so that $1 from every ticket sold in the US (excluding Dana Point) will go to World Central Kitchen. WCK is currently responding to the crisis on the Colombia-Venezuelan border and has served more than 350,000 meals to date. For more information, please visit wck.org. Furthermore, $1 from every ticket sold in Canada will go to Rainbow Railroad to help LGBTQI people around the world escape persecution and violence. For more information, please visit www.rainbowrailroad.com

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