DEVENDRA BANHART plays the Danforth Music Hall on June 3. See listings. Rating: NNN
If there's one thing we've learned from Devendra Banhart's decade-long career, it's that he follows his instincts. Whether it's making albums that lead critics to declare him the bearded Pied Piper of "freak folk" or covering Leonard Cohen songs with Beck, the Venezuelan-American singer/songwriter has a discography that's all his own.
Banhart's eighth album and first since 2009's What Will We Be is a playful love letter to his Serbian fiancée. (The record's title translates loosely as "sweetie pie.") While he doesn't stray far from soft acoustic ballads, the electronic textures on Für Hildegard Von Bingen are a welcome change, and Never Seen Such Good Things is as charmingly self-deprecating as anything he's done.
It isn't his most groundbreaking work, but he's earned the right to relax, and there are far worse albums you could spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with.
Top track: Never Seen Such Good Things