Artist: Devendra Banhart
Title: I Feel Like Just Like a Child
Format: 7" single
Label: XL Recordings
Catalogue Number: XLS 217
Year of Release: 2005
A I Feel Just Like a Child
B Ice Rat
Aaah... more 99p singles. Why do I persist in buying these? Most likely because a) they're cheaper than half a pint of beer, and b) they usually feature something not on the album.
Here we have a lovely sing-a-long from 2005's Cripple Crow album, very similar to another track on that album, Chinese Children. Like that tune, you can hear the studio technician and general band hubbub ("The Hairy Fairies", apparently) before the song proper starts, which it does with some tambourine and an up-tempo bassline, before Devendra sings the title four times, then the line, "From the womb to my tomb/I guess I’ll always be a child".
Thesis clearly stated, he develops the theme over the rest of the song, with new sounds and effects entering with each verse. Full lyrics available at alwaysontherun.net but some of the best examples (with an almost Abba-like quality for rhyming couplets: "From my cave/to my grave" and "From being my daddy’s sperm/to being packed in an urn". Little bit of politics creep in at the end, then they all wind down and go for a quinoa bake or something.
B-side Ice Rat is a slower tune, principally played on the acoustic, but with some ramshackle percussion and flute in the background, and a lovely piano coda. The lyrics seem mostly concerned with being careful not to mistake the animal before you for a dog, as it is in fact an Ice Rat, whatever one of those is. Has the feeling of a throwaway session tune about it, so it makes a perfect B-side in that regard.
In 2006 XL Recordings issued Cripple Crow as a double album, side D containing tracks only put out on singles such as this one, and Heard Somebody Say. I'm in the odd position now of not wanting to buy the album, because I already have some of the bonus material.