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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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Devendra Banhart Describes His Bizarre Rock Memorabilia

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

More Song Stories entries »
 
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