I was thrown for a loop when delving into the music of Damien Jurado. He’s been flying just below the noticeable surface since 1995, and those that are lucky enough to know his music, are the faithful diggers who mine for gold and treasure. Jurado is such a thing, with huge sprawling tracks in his left hand, and minute wisps of song in the dominant right. My head didn’t turn his way until I heard/saw “Caskets” from his 2008 album Caught in the Trees. The song and its video are so effortlessly and casually disturbing, I was scared off while at the same time glancing back in admiration. It was really good, but in a “yeah Beethoven is great!” kind of way.
And here we are at 2011’s close, and I’m just noticing Mr. Jurado again. He’s releasing his TWWWWelth LP, Maraqopa (pronounced mara-kopa), February 21st, but yesterday we got a preview of the opening track “Nothing is the News.” It’s retrofitted with the wandering guitars from Jurado’s left hand, but it’s also decidedly fixed in a circle of distortion, featuring plenty of squawks and outside noise interference that keeps the vocals the way the Seattle native likes them: secondary.
Also, the top photograph was taken by one Tom Roelofs, who has a swell talent for such things. We love it, and you should visit his site for some more eye candy.
Here’s an album trailer that features Jurado recording a song with label mate Richard Swift. See if you can pick out which song it is from the tracklist below.
1. Nothing Is the News
2. Life away from the Garden
4. This Time Next Year
5. Reel to Reel
6. Working Titles
7. Everyone a Star
8. So on, Nevada
9. Museum of Flight
10. Mountains Still Asleep
(Maraqopa is available 2/21/12 from Secretly Canadian)