New Devendra Banhart – “Seahorse,” “So Long Old Bean”

The lord of the freak folkies launched his official, name-bearing website Friday and while there are still a few “comings soon”‘s (including the photo section and the Spanish-language version), once you click ‘n’ drag that colorful virtual pile of hippie refuse (acoustic guitar, dried flowers, masks, spirit catcher, some fatties, a tambourine) and enter the listening station, you’ll unearth weekly Banhartian artwork, lyrics (handwritten and ornamented like illuminated manuscripts), and song streams in addition to the usual news, “for sale” signs, etc.

We like to make patchouli and hand drum jokes in Banhart’s presence, but everyone’s favorite ex-Lohan beau is being very generous in the Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon sneak-peek department. First came whiffs of ?Rosa” and “Tonada Yanomaminista.” Now we get “Seahorse,” a slow-build psych epic that starts like a plaintive one-man ballad and cycles through California dreaming, echoing group singing, and woozy organs, as well as the gentler, Elvis-like “So Long Old Bean” (the strings at the end? They broke our hearts. Fingers crossed by Starbucks.)

In the midst of it all is a behind-the-scenes video sound tracked by “Seahorse.”

DB?s site warns it?s “not a music video,” that “music videos are coming soon.” Sure, but this “informal” footage of the Hairy Fairies hanging out in Topanga, CA where Smoky was recorded, feels like a video: See Banhart pensively write, decide whose beard’s grown most luxurious since Cripple Crow, discover what the crew tacks to the walls for inspiration, and dig how the boys (‘n’ girls) play hide ‘n’ seek, carve-out/suck-on fish eyes, and dance with guns while wearing unflattering shorts.

After it goes black, wait for a surprise involving some kind of quickie mop ?

Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon is out 9/25 on XL. Tour dates, presented Euro-style, here:

10/08/2007 Oya Festival – Oslo, Norway
11/08/2007 Way Out West – Gothenburg, Sweden
13/08/2007 Knust – Hamburg, Germany
15/08/2007 Gebaude 9 – Cologne, Germany
17/08/2007 Pukkelpop – Hasselt, Belgium
19/08/2007 Green Man Festival – Brecon Beacons, Wales
21/08/2007 L’European – Paris, France
23/08/2007 The Arches – Glasgow, Scotland
24/08/2007 Leeds Festival, UK
26/08/2007 Reading Festival, UK
01/09/2007 Commodore Ballroom – Vancouver, Canada
02/09/2007 Bumbershoot Festival (KEXP stage) – Seattle, WA
04/09/2007 Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR
06/09/2007 Rio Theater – Santa Cruz, CA
07/09/2007 House of Fine Arts – San Francisco, CA
10/09/2007 Ogden Theater (Native American Benefit) – Denver, CO
12/09/2007 Sokol Auditorium – Omaha, NE
13/09/2007 Liberty Hall Theater – Lawrence, KS
15/09/2007 First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN
16/09/2007 Pabst Theater – Milwaukee, WI
18/09/2007 Portage Theater – Chicago, IL
19/09/2007 Majestic Theater – Detroit, MI
21/09/2007 Danforth Music Hall – Toronto, Canada
22/09/2007 Theatre National – Montreal, Canada
23/09/2007 Davis Center Grand Ballroom – Burlington
25/09/2007 Roxy Ballroom – Boston, MA
27/09/2007 Grand Ballroom – New York, NY
29/09/2007 Theater of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
01/10/2007 Sixth And I Historic Synagogue – Washington, DC
04/10/2007 City Hall – Nashville, TN
06/10/2007 Granada Theater – Dallas, TX
07/10/2007 La Zona Rosa – Austin, TX
09/10/2007 Sunshine Theater (Native American Benefit) – Albuquerque, NM
10/10/2007 Rialto Theater – Tucson, AZ
12/10/2007 Marquee Theater – Phoenix, AZ
13/10/2007 Orpheum – Los Angeles, CA