Devendra Banhart - Rejoicing in the Hands (Young God )
esotericecho.com | Jason Thompson
May your ears be blessed with this soundYes, well, we're back once again with the artist known as Devendra Banhart. Certainly you know him, no? The man responsible for the crazed brilliance of Oh Me, Oh Myâ€¦ . The one who led his listeners straight off the edge of some dirt hill cliff. Strange sounds and songs resonating like a brilliant sun burning the horizon down into a molten gold in bloom of full on toxic bridled dementia. Yeah, that one. He has returned, children. He has returned.
Will be returning in April. The secret is out. Rejoicing in the Hands eclipses the debut. We all wondered what Devendra would do to top the first chapter. How could he do it? Would he fade after an album and EP, or would he attack once again with his guitar, his creepy and wonderful voice, and those songs that completely made you forget about any other music out there? He chooses to attack with his teeth and his eyes and hair and crazy shapes all pulled out of some stone age wonderland from a nickel shaped high rise apartment overlooking the parking lot of a parking lot.
Pure brilliance we are talking here. I am not one to throw the word genius around with these rock stars, you know. Devendra takes you through some warped looking glass and on the other side there's exactly what you would think; everything's fucked up and backwards. Is he playing that song with his pipe? His fingers seem to flake into a bowl of sugar occupied by tourists in mint green pilgrimage pastels. That is genius. He took nothing but a note from a song and swallowed it. The melody was rebirthed and spat out in a cup of Kool-Aid given to children who took the song home and played it for the robot sentry.
And I whisper as I say thisâ€¦I say, "I really love the song 'This Beard is for Siobhan'." The trickling guitar, the vivid language, the way it suddenly turns into this manic, thumping rave at the end that catches itself from tumbling down at the last moment. I love "Poughkeepsie" that has an unnerving sound of the '20s married to it that makes me think of places I've never been and people I'll never see dressed in those fashions that now show up in overpriced "thrift" stores in the glorious modern day. And I love "This Is The Way" that funnels into the '60s hippie regime and sends a bomb to destroy all folk music. This is the new folk. It rocks without protestation. Joan Baez would weep soup if these fragrances touched her eyes.
"Will Is My Friend" is like dipping your toes in a lazy river on some old rotten dock while the sun goes down. "Todo Los Dolores" tells the truth. Was there anything else to tell? The title track is the lullaby for my baby. The album is an eternity and eternity eclipsed into an afternoon. This music makes me feel and it comforts in its strange tones. I feel as if I am five once again.
Devendra Banhart makes me wish I could steal a song from the wind and make a masterpiece. He does that here with every tune. You listen to this music and you feel like you have a new friend. It's delicate and beautiful and it's some of the best sounds nature has ever given ears to hear. The way Devendra's songs play feel familiar at times, but he is very much the most original thing to come from anywhere at any time in the history of pop music. May he continue to delight with his fascinating minutiae. May your ears be blessed with this sound.