We’ve heard bits and pieces of Devendra Banhart’s 14-song major label debut, What Will We Be. First it was a couple of songs live in San Francisco. Then we got the studio take of “Baby” (though we’ve since been promised a new Wu-Tanged version). Now we can dig a bit deeper into the collection via the sleepy penultimate track “Walilamdzi.” What you’re about to see is not an official video. It’s footage of Banhart and band recording What in Northern California that’s been set to the song. So, yeah, you can close your eyes if you want, and chill.
In case you wanted to do some identifications, Banhart’s backed again by his Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon mates Noah Georgeson, Megapuss Greg Rogove, Luckey Remington and Rodrigo Amarante. And, while you have videos (or their lack) on the mind, check out this interchange Devendra had with P4K:
DEVENDRA BANHART: Other than “Carmensita” and “Little Yellow Spider,” every video I’ve made has been a complete fucking mess of incompetence and deception. And the labels have released the videos without me seeing them — incomplete videos that make no sense and make me look even dumber than I am. It’s shocking. I’ve shot videos that should be fully animated that were released without any animation.
PITCHFORK: But you approved the one for “Carmensita,” right? That’s great as is.
DB: Yeah, but it came out a year after the record. That’s another thing I told Warner’s: “Can we make a video and put it out when the record comes out?” I’m not going to let that shit happen again. Also, with the “Carmensita” video, I was too busy falling in love with Natalie [Portman] while making it to have any say. I’m not going to make a great video, but I’m going to make an atrocity of a fucking video, either.
PITCHFORK: What are some videos that you think are great?
DB: A-Ha’s “Take on Me”. Grizzly Bear’s “Knife” is one of the best videos of all time — everything Encyclopedia Pictura has done is really incredible. I talked to them, but Björk offered them a lot more money. I really can’t afford them. But it’s OK; right now we’re working with Ron Winter, who just did MGMT’s “Kids” video and he’s just awesome.
Any ideas for “Walillamdzi”?
What Will We Be is out 10/27 via Warner Bros.