For more than two decades, Jurado has sung folk songs brimming with prophetic imagination. Whether singing ballads about killers, wounded lovers, UFO cults, or yes, the phantoms of departed friends, he’s populated his work with eerie foretelling, the sense that he’s divining something just on the verge of happening. He wrote his last record, 2018’s The Horizon Just Laughed as a goodbye letter to his home of Seattle, Washington, before he’d even decided to leave there for sunny Los Angeles.
Jurado has always worked fast, but new LP In the Shape of a Storm (released back in April via Mama Bird) came together with unprecedented speed. Recorded over the course of two hours one California afternoon, it’s his sparsest album to date. Gone are the thundering drums and psychedelic arrangements that defined the trilogy of concept albums he made with his longtime collaborator and close friend Richard Swift. Gone even is the atmospheric air that hovered above his early albums for Sub Pop. Here, there’s only Jurado’s voice, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment from Josh Gordon, playing a high-strung guitar tuned Nashville style, rendering its sound spooky and celestial.
Damien Jurado’s discography is filled with songs written as miniature movies, cinematic vignettes that capture people, the places they are from, and where they are going. In the Shape of a Storm is his first black and white picture. It’s both a snapshot of two hours in a California recording studio and a document spanning 19 years and a life of music. It is the sound of a singer pouring out possible futures and visions. “I believe songs have their own time and place,” Jurado says. For these ten, that time has finally come.
Dana Gavanski is a singer/songwriter currently residing in Toronto. She released her first EP, Spring Demos, in the fall of 2017 via Fox Food Records, a collection of delicate folk songs that she wrote the year before while living in Montreal. Once moving to Toronto, Dana met and began collaborating with some local musicians and is currently working on her first LP to be released later this year with the UK label Full Time Hobby. While still rooted in the intimacy of folk songwriting, Dana’s new album explores a different sonic texture with the addition of a full band.
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