With a new album comes a new sound. The music here is well produced and gone are the answering machine recorders and in its place is a rich sound of celebration. The album can be broken down into 3 sections in my opinion. Section one is the Devendra we have known and loved and this element runs throughout the whole album, but him solo with an acoustic guitar and soft spoken lyrics is what I mean. The second is a diving into his roots with short Spanish ballads that invoke classical love songs. The third being an influence of having a whole band (Hairy Fairy Band) and the sound reminds me honestly like a communal ceremony. Manson and family, Hari Krisna's, George Harrison (with Beatles via 67/68) and (with Ravi Shanker 70's stuff), it just seems that they are all there chanting, singing, with some songs having an almost tribal beat to them and Devendra leading his followers in singalongs. All the songs flow well and I can't stop listening to what I have heard. He focuses on birth and children alot on this album and stand outs are Chinese Children, Mama Wolf (on sampler), I Feel Like a Child(on sampler), and the slightly controversial Little Boys (damn good though).This is quite possibly the best album of the year and the artwork gets my vote for cover of the year. The stuff I have heard, Im not sure if its supposed to be out there. Im not sure if it is demos, leaked material, or what, but I can't wait for the official album out September 13th. You can preorder the album here on cd, and I'm not sure if they will be releasing this on vinyl, but I hope so. This album deserves that much and hopefully with a gatefold cover.
Listen to the official sampler (4 tracks) of the album here.
Enough of reviewing an album that's not even out yet, so here are a few released tracks from Banhart:
(mp3) Will Is My Friend Rejoing in the Hands
(mp3) We All Know Nino Rojo
(mp3) Onward the Indian (live KVRX 2004)
(mp3) Michigan State (live KVRX 2004)
Listen to 30 sec samples from Banhart's studio releases here.