Returning multiethnic cariño Devendra Banhart has already enlightened us with the faintly deranged conceptualisation of Für Hildegard von Bingen, and the somewhat more conventional canción, Never Seen Such Good Things. Though as is often his wont for this, his third and with that most thrilling peep into forthcoming LP Mala, his tongue wags to the madrelingua of his forebears. And Mi Negrita is perfection itself – an intimate tangle of Latin-American nylons, shimmering electronics and a stubbly vocal that’s inviting as Banhart’s facial rug circa Rejoicing in the Hands that renders the impression of a Central American Sinatra at his heady peak. “Mi amor no tiene speranza” he croons woebegone, and the swooning gasps are almost audible in the background. His love may be hopeless, though both his voice, and seemingly so too Mala, is bristling with an infallible optimism.
Mala is anticipated March 11th via Nonesuch Records.