A companion piece to Banhart’s well received album Rejoicing in the Handsthat was released earlier this year. For the uninitiated Devandra Banhart is a fine songsmith who captures the starkness of label mate/co-producer Michael Gira’s dark folk experiments but adds a quirky twist that puts forward a recklessness and off the cuff element that was missing in Gira’s tales and soundscapes. The songs also, from time to time, have a childlike happiness (or perhaps naïve innocence) that neither intrudes nor unbalance the honesty of the lyrics. Niño Rojo will definitely appeal to Swan fans and a wider base who are in search of new troubadour poets.
This review originally appeared in Glitter Gutter Trash, November 2004, Issue 191.