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Friday, September 28, 2007

Best Song Ever (This Week): “Seahorse” by Devendra Banhart

posted by on September 28 at 11:12 AM

This song, the cornerstone of Devendra Banhart’s new Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, has been taking up a large portion of my life. For a couple reasons: 1. I can’t stop listening to it at home, especially at night, especially when it’s raining, and 2. It’s eight minutes long.

But goddam it’s the best eight minutes of anything I’ve heard in forever. Here’s what I said in my review in this week’s issue:

The album properly begins with “Seahorse,” which is the most electric, expansive eight minutes put to tape in years. The song is an epic acoustic/electric wish fulfillment that weaves the pastoral spiritualism of “Astral Weeks” with the shamanic sexuality of “L.A. Woman” and the unbound headiness of “Dark Star.” Repeat listens prove it merits more praise than can be given here; the album is worth buying for that song alone.

Yes, it’s a fullblown hippie freakout, and it sounds fucking fantastic.

Some songs can be pronounced timeless on arrival; “Seahorse” is one of them. It spans genres and eras; it floats, soars, and roars through a palette of moods, but it retains a cohesive, dramatic uplift through it all. That movement builds a story in the song, one that starts with a twangy barefoot meditation before jogging into a jazzy autumnal pirouette before launching into outer space gospel. Banhart really flexes all the variations of his voice here, sounding more plaintive, more spectral, more potent than ever before. I said it before, and I’m saying it again: Epic. “Seahorse” is the Best Song Ever (This Week).

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nice...decent West Coast sike/rural sounds...very US sounding c '68/70. Glad the kids are finally figuring out how to do it CORRECTLY without sounding at ALL Paisley Underground, over Gothy reverbed or dropping in contemporary (like c.'95+) indie rock riffs. Amen to the period like production!!! and the most expansive jamz in years? aw...that Dungen LP from a couple years back was a convincing momment. It was first solid contemporary Euro sike LP that was smart enough to NEARLY sound like 1969, since prolly a few private pressed LPs of 1978!

Posted by nipper | September 28, 2007 2:28 PM

I agree that "Seahorse" is the jam, and that Dungen are also the jam.

Posted by bunnypuncher | September 28, 2007 5:55 PM

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