Artist of the week: Damien Jurado
Damien Jurado is a prolific American indie singer-songwriter, who debuted his career playing on several punk bands in the late eighties, before self-releasing several cassettes filled with homespun folk tunes that gained him not only a cult following in Seattle, but also his first recording deal with Sub Pop. The mythical local label would end up releasing two of his most celebrated records: 1999’s breakthrough Rehearsals for Departure and 2002’s rockier and fully electrified I Break Chairs, which added a great amount of depth and diversity to his traditional simple but always effective songwriting. In fact, his fans would have to wait for 2008’s Caught in the Trees to find Damien Jurado willing to experiment again outside his trademark folk ballad-based style, which nevertheless kept producing infectious and delicate late-night sounding records such as 2003′s Where Shall You Take Me?, 2005′s On My Way to Absence and 2006′s And Now That I’m in Your Shadow.
Though he had previously flirted with field recording techniques and experimented with tape loops on 2000’s Postcards and Audio Letters, it was only when he started to work with his Secretly Canadian label-mate and increasingly ubiquitous producer Richard Swift that his most adventurous, colorful and focused records began to see the light of day. After 2010’s Saint Bartlett and 2012’s Maraqopa, Damien Jurado closed recently his harrowing trilogy with this year’s Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun, an album that, thanks to its clever use of dub vintage techniques, is easily his most surprising and immersive record to date.
João Pedro da Costa is a web studies scholar and a music fan.