Devendra Banhart, Oh Me Oh My

SF Chronicle | by James Sullivan

brittle new solo-acoustic talent

The rambling title of the new album by lo-fi discovery Devendra Banhart is worth reprinting here. It's seasonal, in its own eccentric way.

The short version is "Oh Me Oh My," but the whole thing is "Oh Me Oh My . . . the Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit."

That tells you something -- not much, but something -- about this brittle new solo-acoustic talent. Signed to Young God Records, the label of the Swans' M. Gira, Banhart revisits the home-taping anti-style of the early '90s with conspicuous allusions to such ill-fated predecessors as Nick Drake and Syd Barrett.

It's the kind of warped, poorly recorded music that the disinclined will dismiss as "wrong." New fans, however, will hear it just right.