If you haven’t heard of Devendra Banhart, maybe you heard of him from that short-haired cutie who played his songs at Borders on your night off. Or if you were disgusted by his performance in Dallas. But this stuff is catching on.
I knew him before that, when the songs were cut real raw and weird, four-track style. Apparently the gentle, spacey intimacy of his Spanish-influenced songs have launched a cult movement that journalists call “freak folk.” Plenty of people like this label, but there was nothing freaky about the Banhart-curated compilation “Golden Apples of The Sun” and there is nothing freaky about the best act on that disc, Vetiver. Finally, a Vetiver voice is audible in full form; Vetiver hammers tribal tom, while Andy Cabic tears through hookah smoke and channels Dylan’s “I Want You” on the winsome “Won’t Be Me.” If you’re going to San Francisco, please say hello to these musicians who take themselves and their psychedelia seriously.
– Danny Marroquin