Devendra Banhart Rejoicing in the Hands

How romantic. Vagrant, barely 20-something Banhart leaves his couch-surfing life in San Francisco to prosper in NYC. Surviving on his tremendous talent alone, he begins releasing records to a great fanfare that appears out of thin air. How some lucky individuals are actually able patch together this artsy hobo American dream remains a mystery, but there’s no doubt that Banhart is the kind of fellow you’d expect to pull it off. Scraggly and worn, but full of psychedelic rays of warm sunshine, Devendra must have been brought to us via time machine — everything about his music recalls the past. His warbling tenor reaches up and slowly down, holding tune through small struggles of guitar fuzz and vocal grit — his posturing proves his old soul, and even his name seems nostalgically whimsical. At heart, these are simply folk songs, but the mysticism and old-time gut feeling throw the whole thing into a new territory. A marvellous journey away from the nine to five, the billboards and the flashing television screens. (Young God)