Released: Mar 2013
On his eighth album, Devendra Banhart remains an oddball of split personalities: esoteric history teacher, Spanish lover, skeptical folk man, sonic chemist. Mala is a hushed, subtly textured affair that flows from gentle hi-hat hits to funky tropical rhythms, from guitar instrumentals to chillwave grooves. The words travel just as freely, as he name-drops Suede ("Daniel"), a medieval saint ("Fur Hildegard von Bingen") and a deceased pro skateboarder ("The Ballad of Keenan Milton"), and approaches love with a biting sense of humor ("Your Fine Petting Duck," featuring fiancée Ana Kras).
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