Photo by Steve Gullick
In the trailer to his twelfth album, Damien Jurado admits he used to hate making records, but it’s obvious that unease is long gone. For a songwriter who first made his name crafting hushed, intimate recordings, Jurado has morphed into a full-on psychedelic shaman over the past few years. Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son, out January 21, picks up right where 2012’s Maraqopa left off, and it’s another firm step for the veteran Seattle native.
Once again, Jurado’s partner-in-psych is Richard Swift. The producer’s resume is as eclectic as his style: he’s behind hit albums by Foxygen and the Mynabirds, he’s toured with the Shins as a multi-instrumentalist, and he records wildly diverse music under his own name. In the studio, Swift and Jurado play off each others’ strengths. The singer’s larger-than-life storytelling is the perfect canvas for Swift to add all manner of strings, organs, and percussion.
At its core, Brothers And Sisters sounds like it was an absolute blast to make. Jurado has nothing to lose at this point in his career, and his songwriting sounds looser as a result. The album’s centerpiece, “Jericho Road,” crashes with Biblical-sized abandon. Jurado is at the center of the storm, howling with glee as a makeshift orchestra sways to the beat. Like the protagonist at the heart of the song, Jurado’s path has taken him far and wide–here’s hoping he keeps that search going for many years to come.