This music is to our ears

Yale Herald | Lucas Hanft

If a Georgian weeping willow had a voice, it would be his.

Second semester senior year blues—do they exist phenomenally? I find myself with very little interest in anything other than German movies and downloading insane hipster music. What does it mean when you find yourself in the middle of Cross Campus alone at 3 a.m. and your only comfort is the high, lonesome holler coming out of your headphones?

These days that high lonely holler belongs to Devendra Banhart. The difficulties of Banhart's uneven, though often brilliant, debut have thankfully been resolved. He's moving up in the world, trading in his busted four-track for the living room of a Muscle Shoals studio vet for his second album, Rejoicing in the Hands (Tues., Apr. 20, Young God). The record confirms what his first hinted, that Banhart is one of the most distinct—and distinctively American—songwriters to emerge in ages. There's no mistaking a Devendra Banhart song; the plain-spoken lyricism and wit, the cryptic imagery set over melodies Nick Drake would've written had he grown up in the Delta are all essential. The only other singer-songwriter who can be this creepy and funny simultaneously is Bob Dylan. His voice is spectacular—Billie Holliday channeled through a wraith. If a Georgian weeping willow had a voice, it would be his. Apparently Banhart has a second full length coming out in September, culled from the same sessions as Hands.