Devendra Banhart, Oh Me Oh My
Phildelphia City Paper | by Sam Adams
Recalls the posthumous bootlegs of Nick DrakeMore than a quarter of the song titles on Devendra Banhartâ€™s debut album trail off in an ellipsis, which might just be a way of making room for the albumâ€™s Fiona Apple-esque title: Oh Me Oh My â€¦ The Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Love Songs of the Christmas Spirit (Young God). But itâ€™s also a good indicator of the Austin-based singerâ€™s penchant for sticking with a song only until his interest runs out: Oh Me Oh My â€¦ crams 22 songs into 50 minutes, the shortest being the 39-second â€œTick Eats the Olives.â€ As that title indicates, Banhart favors the surreal, and his eerily double-tracked warble only increases the sense of unease. Even a relatively straightforward number like â€œMichigan State,â€ which proclaims Banhartâ€™s affection for the titular territory, gets sidetracked into observations like, â€œMy toes have my favorite feet.â€ In instrumentation and in fidelity, Oh Me Oh My â€¦ recalls the posthumous bootlegs of Nick Drake jamming alone in his parentsâ€™ house, but the feel is less pastoral than extraterrestrial.