Devendra Banhart 
Rejoicing in the Hands
/young god; 2004/



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Funny how winter came back. We got sun and lukewarm spring breeze and now it's 1 above zero again. So i'm back into my mess of an appartment, writing songs about whales, designing cool posters, smoking too much, eating chocolate, playing some old school super nintendo games, replying to fan mail and listening to Devendra Banhart.


I bought a copy of Oh Me Oh My the Way the Day Goes By sometime last year and i liked it. There were great songs to be found through tape hiss, like "Michigan State" or "Pumpkin Seeds" and a special thing that made the album better than most of the songwriters albums out there: its flaws. 


In Rejoicing in the Hands, the lo-fi elements are gone. Banhart can't hide behind tape hiss and he offers his most treasured songs, simple, beautiful jewels, reminiscent of mississippi blues and traditional folk, but sang with a twisted smile and a distinctly recognizable voice. The arrangements are clever and discreet (the record was produced by Michael Gira) and they dress Banhart's songs in a perfect way, softly underlining melodies. 

Banhart reminds me of Skip James and Billie Holiday, they share the same high-pitched voice that seems to break through all of my heart's defense systems. He's 22 and it feels like i'm listening to a wise and serene grandpa telling me about life, love, dogs and death. He's disarmingly sincere, not faking anything, and he may very well tear his way to your heart if you give him a chance. His universal, homemade songs are just too good to remain unheard.

-Barbara H

/apr 15th 2004/