Rejoicing in the Hands | Todd Berry

A beautiful, raw, and emotive release

Devandra Banhart is an odd singer songwriter. In a time when more and more folk artists move into the electronic era, Banhart takes a purer approach to recording, adding few additional instruments and running with the strength of his songwriting and playing, and creating a strong, if minimalist, album.

On the first track, you are immediately struck by just how bare this album is. Not barren, just bare; his vocals stand stark and naked, approachable and familiar, as if being played through a tube wireless radio from the forties, with a vocal warble reminiscent of singers of the time. Not to be confused with annoying crooning, his vocals are both distinct and friendly; even at his darkest moments you get the impression he is smiling through it, and the album provides a similar inspiration in the listener.

Not to be outdone by his vocals, his guitar work rivals it in character and timelessness. With rhythms that seem as equally rooted in the works of Django Reinhardt as Simon and Garfunkle, Banhart successfully acheives a beautiful and powerful sound, with emotion, playfulness, and thematic prowess that will leave aspiring songwriters jealous and drooling. A beautiful, raw, and emotive release.