Devendra Banhart and Noah Georgeson have teamed up to release their brand new tracks “A Cat” and “Aran In Repose.” The new releases from the duo are set to be featured on their forthcoming collaborative ambient album Refuge, which is due out August 13 via Dead Oceans.
Both “Aran In Repose” and “A Cat” are soothing, ambient tracks, which neither Banhart nor Georgeson are known for creating. The tracks are slower-paced with hints of dramatic tones mixed with elongated synth and meditative sounds.
Banhart and Georgeson first began working on their collaborative album last year with the hopes of creating something that was unlike anything they had ever released before. With the singles from Refuge that have been released so far, it is clear that they have successfully met their goal. Refuge focuses immensely on meditation, mindfulness and relaxing tones.
“We’re hoping to create a sense of comfort and coming back to the moment. It’s really important to have a little bit of space between us and our anxieties and impulses. What you do with that space is up to you,” said Banhart in a press release.
To help them achieve their goal with this collaborative album, Banhart and Georgeson brought in other musicians to help piece the sound together. Tyler Cash was brought in to contribute piano, Nicole Lawrence contributes pedal steel, Mary Lattimore is on harp, Todd Dahlhoff plays bass, Jeremy Harris supplies the synthesizer and David Ralicke contributes brass and woodwind. The combination of all of these unique instruments, along with Banhart’s and Georgeson’s approach to a new sound, beautifully orchestrate the album.
Banhart and Georgeson first met back in 1999 on Castro Street in San Fransisco on the night of Halloween. From that point, the duo became friends and even worked together in the music world occasionally. Georgeson co-produced Banhart’s 2005 album Cripple Crow. That was only the start of their relationship.
In 2019, while making Banhart’s album Ma, the duo officially decided that they wanted to work together on an ambient record. However, the coronavirus outbreak threw a wrench in their plans. The pandemic forced Banhart and Georgeson to work on Refuge remotely. The duo described that experience as “the most intimate thing we’ve done…This would be the only record we could possibly make like this.”
Photo credit: Stephen Hoffmeister