Devendra Banhart - Mala [LP+CD+7'']
Devendra Banhart releases his Nonesuch debut, Mala, on March 12, 2013. The singer/songwriter co-produced the record with his longtime bandmate, guitarist Noah Georgeson. Banhart's eighth studio album, Mala was recorded in his then-home in Los Angeles. (He now resides in New York City.) He and Georgeson played most of the instruments themselves, using borrowed equipment and a vintage Tascam recorder they'd found in a pawn shop. ''A lot of early hip-hop had been made on [the Tascam],'' says Banhart. ''And knowing my songs are not hip-hop whatsoever, we thought it would be interesting to see how these kinds of songs would sound on equipment that was used to record our favorite rap. Let's see how this technology would work for us.'' It was a new approach for the pair. ''In the past we were more like, let's use the oldest equipment we could find.''
Banhart also notes how his voice has developed over the years: ''I don't really take care of my voice, but, just like with playing guitar, you get more familiar with it, and you get better at it. I've always said that I'm very good at not knowing how to play the guitar but, really, it's just that I'm very comfortable with the utter uncertainty of my approach.''
Banhart's previous release, 2009's What Will We Be, received critical acclaim, withRolling Stonecalling it ''the best he's ever made.'' The Los Angeles Times said the record ''found him making comfortable, laid-back folk that didn't sound like a compromise - more like an artist growing into his own.''