Devendra Banhart presents his Nonesuch debut, Mala. The singer/songwriter co-produced the record with his longtime bandmate, guitarist Noah Georgeson. Banhart's eighth studio album, Mala was recorded in his then-home in Los Angeles. He and Georgeson played most of the instruments themselves, using borrowed equipment and a vintage Tascam recorder they d found in a pawn shop. "A lot of early hip-hop had been made on [the Tascam], " 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. " It was a new approach for the pair. "In the past we were more like, let s use the oldest equipment we could find. "
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. "