By Audra Tracy

Thank heaven for musicians who still create supremely strange songs with no apologies. Thank heaven for artists that defy any casual classification. Thank heaven for modern songwriters who pen odes not to boozing groupies, but to medieval feminists. Thank heaven for Devendra Banhart.

Yes, the freaky folk singer from Laurel Canyon is back with Mala, his first LP since 2009’s What Will We Be. In his absence from songwriting, he’s moved to New York, married a lovely Serbian photographer, and joined the roster of Nonesuch Records. And while a new home-life, new wife, and new label could potentially influence one’s musical style, thank heaven Mala still maintains the lo-fi charm of records past.

If there’s one thing that ties this latest effort together, it’s how Banhart has mastered the language(s) of love. Whether it’s in English (‘Wont You Come Over’), Spanish (‘Mi Negrita’), or his wife’s native tongue (‘Mala’), his quivering delivery can make even the sturdiest knees wobble.

Bachelors, are you taking notes?

Devendra Banhart
© March 12th, 2013 | Weird