Devendra Banhart plays Gibson Custom Les PaulLately, freak-folk’s most endearing freak Devendra Banhart and his band have been renting a home in Topanga Canyon, California, just outside of Los Angeles. There, they built a recording studio and put the final touches on Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon, due out September 25. Devendra also reportedly got a rude awakening, when a female fan recently crept through his bedroom window.

“We’ve had people show up, sometimes in the middle of the night,” says Banhart. But this was the first time, he says, that “somebody tried to crawl through my window. It was harmless, but it was weird. It was a cute hippie chick, to tell you the truth. I guess there’s worse things than that. It’s still a little unnerving.”

Originally from Houston, Texas, this isn’t the first time Banhart’s attracted a kooky fan to his new hometown, and it’s also not the first time he’s been receptive to the meeting. Banhart even allowed a devoted fan to make a guest appearance on the forthcoming album. The fan, Nathan Pelkey, hitchhiked all the way from Austin, Texas to Topanga, where he stopped Banhart in a coffee shop and asked if he could play him a song on his kalimba. Turns out the guy was pretty good.

“He played me a song, and it’s a killer song,” Banhart says. “And it just so happened we needed a kalimba on the end of this one song, ‘Samba Vexillographica,’ and so he came up and he tracked it, and he plays the accordion and the piano. And now fast forward and our bass player Remington is his manager. He just went on a U.S. tour. So that was a beautiful thing out of him somehow finding out that we live here.”

Unfortunately for fans, Banhart will be away from Topanga all fall, on the road in support of Smokey.