Before you listen to Devandra Banhart’s plaintive ballad “Mi Negrita,” prepare to be transported back to the bygone world of dusty Southwestern cattle towns, sun-drenched chicano work fields, balmy haciendas and crowded barrios. On this track, which appears on Banhart’s upcoming LP, Mala, the Venezuelan-American singer displays a keen mastery of the Latin American romantic folk music lexicon using flamenco-tinged guitars, ranchera-influenced group vocals, strutting mariachi percussion and quietly-enunciated, reverb-coated Spanish vocals. Sonically, “Mi Negrita” is a deft reconstruction of retro 50s and 60s production techniques, sounding more like it belongs in a classic telenovela or spaghetti Western than 2013. Stream it below.
Devendra Banhart’s Mala is due out on March 12th via Nonesuch.
STREAM: Devendra Banhart – “Mi Negrita”