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Song Stories

“Seahorse”

Devendra Banhart | 2007

Regularly cited for his "freak-folk" sound, Devendra Banhart also shows his love of South American culture in songs such as "Seahorse," a tune with that spans eight minutes and has an almost literary arc. "There's something somewhat Blakean about it," Banhart said, citing the Romantic poet William Blake. "But musically, it’s the best thing I've ever ... it's the thing I'm most proud of." Going from acoustic lament to piano-driven shuffle, and with its climatic ending, "Seahorse" showcases Banhart in pronounced Jim Morrison mode: poetic and high on spiritual lust. And there’s even a flute solo.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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