As probably the first Devendra Banhart song I can state an unequivocal affinity for, “Tonada Yanomaninista” wins me over by abandoning the hippie warbling that made its singer’s name. Though his signature bleating creeps in on the end of certain words, Banhart spends most of the track in a appealingly disaffected croon. The gravel in his voice, the playing that’s a weird combo of sloppy and sharp, this almost sounds like a blueprint for how the Strokes could have avoided that third record jinx (I know that sounds a little crazy, but listen to it and tell me it’s not there). The storming rhythm and sweet female backing voices add tallies in the plus column.
At the 1:30 mark, over appropriate organ notes, the song switches to Jim Morrison country. Questionable poetry, heavy with references to mothers and death, briefly takes center stage lowering the fun quotient. It’s short though, and the head rush comes back before the complaint can rise above the level of a nit picked. Really, nicely played Devendra.