Devendra Banhart

Devendra Banhart

For his Nonesuch debut, Devendra Banhart chose the title Mala, literally the Serbian word for "small," but used colloquially in Eastern Europe as a term of endearment—"like sweetie pie," Banhart explains. It was a placeholder during most of the recording, a working title offhandedly inspired by a ring his fiancée, the Serbian photographer and artist Ana Kras, had given him with that word on it. But the name stuck, and it proves to an apt one for an album so intimate in scale and open of heart.

Banhart's previous effort, 2009's What Will We Be,... more