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Devendra Banhart's New Album Gives Him "Panic Attacks"

September 9, 2008 6:10 PM ET

Next month, freak-folk icon Devendra Banhart will release the debut record from his new side-project with drummer Greg Rogove, which the two have dubbed Megapuss. But Banhart revealed to Rolling Stone that he's also hard at work at a follow-up to his breakthrough album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. So how's the recording process going? "It's fucking painful and torturous," Banhart jokes. "I had a panic attack [the other] night and was shaking." While Banhart's still in the early stages of writing and recording — "How can you talk about the island when you're lost at sea?" he cracks — Banhart does reveal that some songs have a "weird vibe of cowboy songs" while another has an '80s-style electro-pop beat reminiscent of Hall And Oates' "I Can't Go For That." "I think there's a new swelling of basically the collective unconscious deciding, 'Hey, Hall and Oates are pretty cool,'" says Banhart. "They're not guilty pleasures anymore."

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Song Stories

“Love Is the Answer”

Utopia | 1977

The message of the Beatles' "All You Need Is Love" proved to be a universal and long-lasting one, which Utopia revisited 10 years later on this ballad. "From a lyrical standpoint, it's part of a whole class of songs that I write, which are about filial love," Todd Rundgren explained. "I'm not a Christian, but it's called Christian love, the love that people are supposed to naturally feel because we are all of the same species. That may be mythical, but it's still a subject." Though "Love Is the Answer" wasn't a hit, a cover version two years later by England Dan & John Ford Coley peaked at Number Ten on the Billboard singles chart.

More Song Stories entries »
 
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