- 07 Oct 19
The Banhart of the matter.
After bursting onto the scene at the beginning of the millennium and instantly turning heads with his T-Rex flavoured tunes, Devendra Banhart then – rather unfairly – found his output labelled as lounge music for hipsters. While admittedly some of the material in his back catalogue does scream “soundtrack to an avocado toast brunch,” when Devendra gets the ingredients right, there really aren’t many who can write a heart-melting love song quite like him.
Filled with lush melodies and jaw-dropping string arrangements, Ma steadies the ship somewhat after the creative misfire of Ape In Pink Marble. Examining the concept of motherhood from all angles, this – DB’s 10th album – is a soul-soothing, super-smooth listen.
While he doesn’t always get it right – ‘October 12’ feels half-finished and ‘Memorial’ is dreary – there are some really special moments. Steeped in Bolan and Donovan influences, ‘Is This Nice?’ is one of his most beguiling songs yet, while ‘Now All Gone’ – featuring Cate Le Bon – is a welcome walk on the weird side. Elsewhere, the hushed, Bacharach-style ballad ‘While I See You Tonight?’ is utterly swoonsome and worth the price of admission alone.