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Mala cover art

Track Listing

Click tracks with speaker icon to listen
1Golden Girls1:35
3Für Hildegard von Bingen (listen to full track below)2:35
4Never Seen Such Good Things (listen to full track below)3:13
5Mi Negrita3:24
6Your Fine Petting Duck5:46
7The Ballad of Keenan Milton2:12
8A Gain1:35
9Won't You Come Over3:35
10Cristobal Risquez2:28
11Hatchet Wound3:08
13Won't You Come Home3:31
15Something French (LP-Only Bonus Track)2:57
16Loring Baker (LP-Only Bonus Track)2:25

News & Reviews

  • Devendra Banhart Tours Australia, Makes Byron Bay Bluesfest Debut

    Devendra Banhart launches a four-concert tour of Australia with a performance at the Factory Theatre outside Sydney Wednesday night, followed by a show at the Prince Bandroom outside Melbourne Thursday, and two sets at the 25th annual Byron Bay Bluesfest (pictured) this Saturday and Monday. The weekend's sets mark Banhart's Bluesfest debut. Also performing at the festival are Iron and Wine and Dr. John. In May, Banhart joins Rokia Traoré to kick off the Barbican's month-long celebration of Nonesuch at 50.

  • Devendra Banhart, Rokia Traoré to Kick Off Barbican Celebration of Nonesuch Records in May

    Devendra Banhart and Rokia Traoré kick off Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records, the Barbican's month-long celebration of Nonesuch Records' 50th anniversary, sharing an "unplugged" evening featuring recent and past material, at the Barbican Hall in London on Friday, May 2, 2014. Tickets are on sale now. Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records includes a marathon weekend of concerts, May 17-18, and additional satellite events throughout the month of May.

About this Album

Devendra Banhart releases his Nonesuch debut, Mala, on March 12, 2013. The singer/songwriter co-produced the record with his longtime bandmate, guitarist Noah Georgeson. The Mala LP is pressed on 140-gram vinyl and includes the album on CD, an additional 7” with two bonus tracks, and an exclusive poster. 

Mala, Banhart’s eighth studio album, was recorded in his then-home in Los Angeles. (He now resides in New York City.) He and Georgeson played most of the instruments themselves, using borrowed equipment and a recorder they’d found in a pawn shop. The recorder is a couple of decades' old piece of gear “that a lot of early hip-hop had been made on,” says Banhart. “And knowing my songs are not hip-hop whatsoever, we thought it would be interesting to see how these kinds of songs would sound on equipment that was used to record our favorite rap. Let’s see how this technology would work for us.” 

Banhart also notes how his voice has developed over the years: “I don’t really take care of my voice, but, just like with playing guitar, you get more familiar with it, and you get better at it. I’ve always said that I’m very good at not knowing how to play the guitar but, really, it’s just that I’m very comfortable with the utter uncertainty of my approach.”

Banhart’s previous release, 2009’s What Will We Be, received critical acclaim, with Rolling Stone calling it “the best he’s ever made.” The Los Angeles Times said the record “found him making comfortable, laid-back folk that didn’t sound like a compromise—more like an artist growing into his own.”

Devendra Banhart was born in Houston, TX, and moved with his mother to her native Caracas, Venezuela, when his parents separated. The family relocated to Los Angeles during his teenage years; it was there that he learned to speak English, skateboard, and play music. Banhart first began to perform in public while attending the San Francisco Art Institute. He has since lived in Los Angeles, Paris, San Francisco, and New York City.

Banhart first attracted international notice with his 2002 debut album, Oh Me Oh My … The Way the Day Goes By the Sun Is Setting Dogs Are Dreaming Lovesongs of the Christmas Spirit—a collection of recordings he had made for himself. Pitchfork said in its review: “Banhart’s promising debut is the sign of someone destined for great, strange things.” Subsequent albums include Rejoicing in the Hands, Niño Rojo, Cripple Crow, and Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon. He has collaborated with fellow musicians including Antony and the Johnsons, Beck, Vashti Bunyan, Os Mutantes, Swans, and Vetiver. He also has performed with both Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso, and was part of a David Byrne–curated concert at Carnegie Hall.

An accomplished visual artist, Banhart’s distinctive, minutely inked, often enigmatic drawings have appeared in galleries all over the world, including the Art Basel Contemporary Art Fair in Miami; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Brussels; and Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art. He has created the cover art for most of his records, including Mala, and in 2010 his artwork and packaging for What Will We Be was nominated for a Grammy.


All music written by Devendra O. Banhart
except for “Won’t You Come Over,” written by Noah Georgeson and Devendra Banhart
All lyrics written by Devendra Banhart
except for “Loring Baker,” written by Loring Baker

Produced by Noah Georgeson and Devendra Banhart
Recorded by Noah Georgeson, Devendra Banhart and Samur Khouja
Mixed by Noah Georgeson and Devendra Banhart at the Maid’s Room
Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound

All artwork by Devendra Banhart
Design and Layout by Ana Kraš and Devendra Banhart

Devendra Banhart, guitars (1-4, 6-11, 13-16), vocals (1-6, 8-11, 13-16), textural percussion (1), Wurlitzer (2, 9), drums (3, 4, 11, 15), percussion (4-6), acoustic guitars (5), synthesizer (6, 10, 11), drum machine (6), belt (14), paper (14), bass (15)
Josiah Steinbrick, synth saxophone (1), prepared dulcimer (1), bass (1, 2, 4-6, 9-11, 13, 14), synthesizer (3, 5, 11, 14), synth solo (3, 14), percussion (4), claps (11)
Bram Inscore, cello (1, 5, 8)
Greg Rogoue, drums (1, 2, 9, 14), xylophone (9), chains (14)
Noah Georgeson, guitar (1, 4), programming (1, 3, 4, 6, 9, 10, 13), synthesizer (3, 4, 6, 9-11, 13), drum machine (3, 4, 9), drums (4, 10, 11), percussion (4, 5, 13), string arrangement (5), bass (6), switchblade (14), glass (14), m. concrete (14)
Todd Dahlhoff, bass (3)
Rodrigo Amarante, electric guitar (5), percussion (5)
Ana Kraš, vocals (6)
Bernardo Risquez, vocals (12)
Devendra Risquez, guitars (12), vocals (12)

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