Devendra Banhart | various international reviews

Ofir Katzman

translations by Ofir Katzman

Tarbut Ma’ariv Newspaper Devendra Banhart, “Rejoicing In The Hands” The dictionarial definition of the music Devendra Banhart produces would probably be folk, but to sum it up thusly would be criminal, akin to saying Maradonna was merely an offensive soccer player. Like any genius, Banhart’s story is a sprawling and mysterious one. He was born in Texas 23 years ago, but relocated with his mother at a young age to Venezuela, where he was raised. Later he attended an art school in San Francisco, lived the life of a vagrant for a little and recorded his first songs on answering machines. He was discovered by Michael Gira, of Swans fame and owner of the “Young God” label, whose jaw literally dropped when he heard a Banhart recording. His debut was released two years ago, comprised of low quality home recordings, although already showing enormous talent. This year he entered Gira’s studio with the guitar, and came out with a moving masterpiece of the kind you encounter once every few years. If that. An album of beautiful troubadour songs, touching, vividly colored and expressive, revealing a sensitive song writer, brilliant and unique. DJ Ha-ir | by Raviv Golan Crazy Sexy Folk (Excerpt) In this year’s blooming freak folk wave we are talking about people like Devendra Banhart, who sings about a man mating with pig a and has released two beautiful albums this year. Banhart looks like a spiritual guide, has a Nick Drake-like voice and was influenced in his first album this year by a “black woman who saves a town from a plague by making love to a cornfield” (and has later become one of the most esteemed and talked about singer/song writers in the world). Shiv’ah Layilot Newspaper Their Burning Conscious (Excerpt) ‘Niño Rojo’, Red Boy, is the second album from the Texas born Banhart, who grew up in Venezuela with his mother before studying art in San Francisco, then relocating to New York, where he was discovered by former Swans leader, Michael Gira. It is technically more produced and invested than Banhart’s wonderful debut, but like it mainly relying on the unique playing and singing, setting the spotlight on Banhart’s Enchanting high pitched voice and quivering guitar strings. Ha-ir Newspaper Go To Work, Hippie Devendra Banhart’s talent is without limits. So too is his work ethic. Until his second album, “Rejoicing in the Hands”, came out early this year, nearly no one had heard about the gregarious Hippie, who grew up in Venezuela and lived a large part of his adult life as a vagrant. But there’s no one who’s opened his ears to his songs and not felt that rare feeling of encountering something great in scope. “Niño Rojo’” is actually the second half of that magnificent album created by vocal cords, brilliant strumming technique with tinges of flute or piano. The songs that make up the album were recorded in the same monumental sessions and are not to be regarded as a different work. Together the two albums encompass 32 songs that succeed in redefining – not as mere turn of phrase – the term pure beauty. We, as humans who by their very nature seek this elusive beauty, must be thankful to Banhart for his incomprehensible productivity. Do you ever go to sleep guy?