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Devendra Banhart - Black Babies

  by Geraint Jones

published: 28 / 10 / 2003

Devendra Banhart - Black Babies
Label: Young God Records
Format: CD


"Enchanting" second album from much acclaimed half-Venezulelan, half-Texan musician, Devendra Banhart, whose back-to-basics 4 track recording techniques add to its charm

This the second release this year by half-Venezuelan, half-Texan, Devendra Banhart and follows his full-length debut ‘Oh Me Oh My…’, which I have to admit to not having heard, but on this evidence I’ll be making sure I check it out soon. Banhart is unquestionably an eccentric and unusual character and frankly it’s a pity there aren’t more like him. His father has done time for drug dealing, his Hindu name was chosen by his parents guru and his middle name is Obi (yes, as in Obi Ben Kenobi) – you really couldn’t make this stuff up. What’s abundantly clear though is that the grown-up, albeit still only 22, Devendra Banhart is also unusually and uniquely talented. Recorded, like its predecessor in not so much lo-fi, as no-fi, on an assortment of borrowed, often broken 4-track cassette recorded – the constant tape hiss and occasional speed fluctuations clear evidence of this – in fact you half expect to see wow & flutter listed in the credits. ‘The Black Babies (UK)’ - named incidentally after one of several bands of whom Devendra is also a member – all 8 tracks and 23 minutes and 45 seconds of it make for an enchanting engagement, Banhart’s whimsical, mesmerising, yet fragile voice and songs making the kind of impression you don’t forget in a hurry. Apparently a properly recorded album (for which he has already demoed dozens of songs) is in the pipeline. Surely from here the only way is up.

Track Listing:-
1 Bluebird
2 Surgery I Stole
3 Cosmos And Demos
4 Onward The Indian
5 Lagoon
6 The Charles c. Leary
7 Long Song
8 Old Thunderbird

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