This summer when the temperature creeps up toward 95° and the air conditioner isn’t cutting it, go sit on your porch and put on Devendra Banhart’s new album Rejoicing in the Hands. Each song is a folk music gem, and the combination of his tremendous guitar plucking and trembling voice provides an emotional weight to this album that few previous lo-fi recordings have come close to achieving.
“This is the Way” is a gentle song that sets up a sequence of warm and spellbinding tunes such as “The Body Breaks” and “Poughkeepsie.” Banhart attains breathtaking heights with “Will is My Friend” as his plucking and a quiet piano combine for a summer night under the stars soundtrack. He even manages to create a rare danceable moment with “This Beard is for Siobhan.” He lets it all out at the end of the song singing “A real good time, good time, a good time.”
Whether it is the dramatic “Fall,” the gorgeous “Todo Los Dolores,” or what equates to anthemic for Banhart, “Insect Eyes,” there is something for everyone on this album. I can’t think of a better album to put on late at night this summer and zone out. You will forget all about the humidity and become all the more aware of why the simple things are what make life worth living.
MP3 of “The Body Breaks” via Young God Records.