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Two years ago, I fell deeply in love with the soulful voice of Devendra Banhart. The first album of his I listened to was called Cripple Crow, and to this day, whenever I put on that record, it feels like I am visiting with an old friend. On Cripple Crow, Devendra gives you a glimpse of his world. The album is adorned with photographs of friends and family, and the songs seem more like stories or secrets scribbled in a diary.

 

santa maria de feira

 

This is probably the most beautiful song I have heard. It is in Spanish, which Banhart speaks fluently—he grew up in Venezuela. Translated, some of my favorite lyrics read:

“ I think, every day and every night, I think of you.

Walking with my basket full of blueberries, they’re for you.

Early in the evening, early in the night, I dream of you.”

How lovely is that? Sweet singers and sweet fruit are two of my favorite things. SWOONING.

 

long haired child

Another one of my favorite tracks is this one; a manifesto of freedom and a 50’s inspired folk melody. There is a childish stubbornness to it, which is prevalent throughout the whole album.

cripple crow

This song is where we see Banhart at his folkiest, yodeling a harmony that seems straight out of the 1970’s.

 “That grows on, that grows on, that grows on, that grows on

Crippled crow, say something for grieving
Where do we go
Once we start leaving?
Well, close that wound
Or else keep on bleeding
And change your tune
It’s got no meaning”

These poetic lyrics show the spirit of the whole record—which is definitely vulnerable, but also reassuring.

HB + CRIPPLE CROW 4EVER

sawkill river

On this album, Devendra has developed musically, as displayed in this tune. As humble as he may be, Banhart has grown from a simple folk musician into a true artist. Listen to this song while it’s raining, it will totally put you in a trance.


canela

IF YOU WANT TO SOB YOUR EYES OUT JUST LISTEN TO THIS SONG. I’M PRETTY SURE IF SOMEONE SANG THIS TO ME, I WOULD FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM.

YOU’RE KILLING ME, DEVENDRA.

 

 

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May 23, 2013