Devendra Banhart

By • Aug 4th, 2007 • Category: Indie, Music

Artist: Devendra Banhart
Website: www.myspace.com/devendrabanhart
Track Name: Rosa
Playback: flash
Download?: No

Oh dear where to begin? Devendra Banhart was born in 1981 in Texas. Discovered by Young God Records at around age 21 and rescued from a life of poverty and “couch surfing”. He composes and performs a kind of music that ranges from trippy to silly. His song writing style is kinda like someone thinking out loud.

He has a new album Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon coming in September (his 5th). Since I liked the track Cripple Crow from the previous album, I was curious where this new album is heading, the previous one had a distinctly retro feel dipping into the sixties and beyond.

Cripple Crow sounded live and the arrangements were really interesting. He uses his voice as an instrument some of the time and it is this slippery style of music making that has drawn comparisons with Tiny Tim – don’t think so – not a bit of it. There is however a comparison there in the nonsense that they both pass off as song writing. Tiny Tim never took himself seriously however.

The two tracks from the new album display something – I can’t say its more mature because I suspect Rosa is sung in a made up language. Still I like the new songs and admire the fact that the arrangements remain as interesting as before.

Devandra can’t successfully be described – you need to hear him to see what the attraction is. Whatever else he may be, it is safe to say that his music can be a bit of a challenge vocally and lyrically.

Young God Recordings say of him:

He’s the most genuine, least cynical and calculated artist I’ve ever known, and he deserves every bit of the good things now coming his way. He’s also one of the most innately talented, magical performers I have ever heard. Period. He GIVES. This kind of generosity and breadth of emotion is all too rare these days. Whether the songs are pained, twisted, whimsical, or even sometimes weirdly silly, aside from being fantastically musical and expertly played, they are also utterly sincere, and devoid of a single drop of post modern irony. In short, he’s the real thing.

Take it with a grain of salt but have a listen. Who knows, he may just be what you are looking for.
Here’s a track that’s not too taxing to get you started. Devendra Banhart “Heard Somebody Say”

is a graphic designer who used to front a band on vocals and bass. All evidence of which have mercifully been obliterated or otherwise lost.
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