Devendra banhart: I Feel just Like A Child

Quirkysomething folk freako brilliantly reverts back to his days as a nipper

You can tell a man is at the top of his game (not to mention even more bonkers than he’s supposed to be) when he puts a secret track on his single BEFORE the actual single begins – and that’s what crazy Devendra has done. Here he kicks things off with some lovely saloon-style rolling piano and C&W guitar picking and, recognizing just how lovely it is, makes a point of stopping the show and not rushing it out of the door to make way for the main event. When it does finally depart, rumbling juju drums and maracas usher in a jazzy vocal full of yelp and swagger sitting atop what will surely be one of the most unlikely hit singles of the year – it has, after all, no chorus, nor any of the quiet/loud dynamics that guitar pop is supposed to have nowadays. Instead what we get is a peculiar man riffing and rapping about how essentially useless he is without his lady (“They think I know shit/But that’s just it/I’m a child.... I need you to blow my nose/I need you to count my toes”). The odd-tasting cake is iced by ‘Stewed Bark Of An Old Tree’, beautiful and spectral, a hypnotic driftnet of vocal overdubs and doleful acoustic guitar, and ‘Shame’, a goofy, knockabout slab of riffs and plinky-plonk piano in the Creedence/Norman Greenbaum vein. He’s weird, he has a beard, he needs to be revered.

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