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Devendra banhart blue dress 2023

Devendra Banhart announces Cate Le Bon-produced album Flying Wig

13 June 2023, 15:27 | Written by Tyler Damara Kelly

Along with today’s album news, Devendra Banhart has also released the first track, “Twin".

The release of Flying Wig marks Banhart’s 11th studio album - his first with Mexican Summer - and the first full length since the universally lauded Ma in 2019. It is also the first time the acclaimed singer/songwriter has collaborated with Welsh musician and producer Cate Le Bon.

This entire record was inspired by Kobayashi Issa’s poem:

"This dewdrop world-

Is a dewdrop world,

And yet,

And yet…"

"I’ve never read a more concise and clear illustration of hope… it just sweeps me away by the breadth of its scope…. as lonely as we might feel at our saddest, angriest, most desperate, most frustrated, most hopeless, most heartbroken moments, we have all felt that, everyone on earth, our ancestors before us, and those that will come after, have or will feel that…. The “and yet , and yet” is our ability to face despair with hope, to keep on failing and loving," says Banhart.

Cate Le Bon and Devendra Banhart's coming together is one prophesied by the mirror-image titles of their early solo albums – Banhart’s Oh Me Oh My from 2002, to Le Bon’s 2009 album Me Oh My.

“She’s the only person I wanted to make this record with,” Banhart admits. “We set out to make a record sonically unlike anything I have made before – with a new creative partner at the helm. We definitely wanted a new sound, electronic yet organic and warm…we wanted to draw out and emphasise the emotional aspect of a synthesiser."

For most of the writing and recording process, Banhart wore a dress which was gifted from Le Bon's wardrobe, as well as his grandmother’s pearls. He elaborates: “I first started singing in my mother’s dresses when I was nine years old. It wasn’t about sexuality, just connecting with my feminine side and feeling that I had permission… It felt like a power. And that’s a very safe and comfortable place for me. I think a lot of the record is that – searching for hope, searching for a safe feeling.”

The album’s contributing circle was kept small and familiar, with personnel drawn from both artists’ tried, tested and trusted list of collaborators (Nicole Lawrence on pedal steel and guitar, Todd Dahlhoff on bass, Greg Rogove on drums, Euan Hinshelwood on saxophone), with Le Bon playing a panoply of additional parts (synths, guitar, percussion, bass, piano) herself. The record’s finishing touches also came courtesy of Le Bon stalwarts, with mixing and engineering by Samur Khouja and mastering by Heba Kadry.


  1. Feeling
  2. Fireflies
  3. Nun
  4. Sight Seer
  5. Sirens
  6. Charger
  7. Flying Wig
  8. Twin
  9. May
  10. The Part

"Twin" is out now. Devendra Banhart's forthcoming album, Flying Wig, arrives on 22 September via Mexican Summer.

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