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Damien Jurado

Urban folk singer/songwriter Damien Jurado quietly built up one of the strongest catalogs on the indie scene, earning high critical praise yet somehow never quite getting his proper due. Nick Drake had a definite impact on much of his work, but Jurado modeled his career on more idiosyncratic, unpredictable figures like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Randy Newman -- songwriters who followed their own muse wherever it took them, whether fans and critics enjoyed it or not. His independence was born at least in part from the influence of punk, and one of the results was a concern for emotional authenticity that led him to delve into other people's lives instead of his own. Many of Jurado's best songs spun concise, literate tales of quiet, everyday despair, which often earned him comparisons to short story writer Raymond Carver. But his storytelling bent -- not to mention his ambivalence toward confessional material -- arose from a stronger grounding in traditional folk than spiritual compatriots like Elliott Smith or Cat Power. And with detours into pop, roots rock, full-fledged electric indie rock, psychedelia, and even found-sound experiments, Jurado ensured that his body of work was impossible to accurately pin down.

A lifelong native of Seattle, Jurado started playing in a succession of local punk bands in 1989. One of them, the Christian-tinged Coolidge, also featured future Pedro the Lion mastermind David Bazan, and eventually had a track featured on the Tooth & Nail label's Christian punk/emo compilation I'm Your Biggest Fan, Vol. 1. Meanwhile, Jurado began to explore the solo route during the mid-'90s, writing simple folk-based tunes and releasing them on his own cassette-only label, Casa Recordings. Leaded, Trailer Park Radio, and Gasoline all helped create a local cult following for Jurado, and he found an influential fan in fellow Christian and Sunny Day Real Estate singer Jeremy Enigk, who brought him to the attention of Sub Pop. After two 7" releases on Sub Pop, "Motorbike" and "Trampoline," Jurado issued his proper debut album, Waters Ave S., in 1997, and followed it with a spare, home-recorded EP for Made in Mexico, Gathered in Song, a year later.

Jurado's sophomore effort was also his breakthrough; released in 1999, the excellent Rehearsals for Departure established him as a singer/songwriter of tremendous subtlety and skill, and won near-universal critical acclaim. Jurado's rootsy, minimalist folk-pop and fragile vocals pulled listeners in close, and his knack for a memorable hook kept them there. For his next move, Jurado confounded fans and critics alike with 2000's Postcards and Audio Letters, a compilation of conversation fragments found on the audio cassettes that Jurado collected obsessively (from sources like thrift-store boom boxes and answering machines) and often used for songwriting inspiration.

The proper follow-up to Rehearsals for Departure was Ghost of David, issued on Sub Pop later in 2000. While it hewed mostly to the style of Rehearsals, it also dabbled in some of the found-sound collage aspects of Postcards, and wound up somewhat darker and more alien. Jurado next turned to the Burnt Toast label to issue the one-off EP Four Songs in 2001, then formed a full band dubbed Gathered in Song for a change of pace from his typically mellow style. Featuring guitarist Eric Fisher, bassist Josh Golden, and drummer Andy Myers (all of whom played more than one instrument), Gathered in Song debuted on Jurado's next album, 2002's fully electrified I Break Chairs. Audiences expecting another moody, late-night, urban folk outing were thrown for a loop; some critics felt that Jurado was better off sticking to what he did best, while others found the transition not only convincing, but surprisingly varied and well-crafted.

Jurado subsequently parted ways with Sub Pop, looking to scale back his recording and touring activities in order to spend more time with his family and, to a lesser degree, his day job as a preschool teacher. He landed on the Indiana-based Secretly Canadian label, for whom he debuted in 2003 with Where Shall You Take Me?, a return to his trademark, low-key folk-ballad style. In typical fashion, he followed it with an EP for a smaller label (Acuarela), titled Holding His Breath. A year later, he returned to Secretly Canadian for another EP, Just in Time for Something. His next full-length, On My Way to Absence, arrived in early 2005. Jurado continued to keep busy with And Now That I'm in Your Shadow, a spare, hushed collection of songs that appeared late in 2006. Early the following year, Gathered in Song was reissued with bonus tracks. His eighth full-length, Caught in the Trees, was released in 2008, followed by the Richard Swift-produced Saint Bartlett in 2011 and Maraqopa in 2012. A year later, Jurado returned to the studio with Swift to record his 11th studio album, 2014's Brothers & Sisters of the Eternal Son. Continuing a trend of moving incrementally deeper into psychedelic textures since working with Swift, Visions of Us on the Land arrived in 2016. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Brothers And Sisters Of The Eternal Son (Deluxe Edition)

1. Magic Number

2. Silver Timothy

3. Return To Maraqopa

4. Metallic Cloud

5. Jericho Road

6. Silver Donna

7. Silver Malcolm

8. Silver Katherine

9. Silver Joy

10. Suns In Our Mind

11. Plains To Crash

12. Return To Maraqopa (Feat. Sisters Of The Eternal Son)

13. Silver Timothy (Feat. Sisters Of The Eternal Son)

14. Metallic Cloud (Feat. Sisters Of The Eternal Son)

15. Silver Malcolm (Feat. Sisters Of The Eternal Son)

16. All For You

17. Jericho Road (Feat. Sisters Of The Eternal Son)

18. Silver Katherine (Feat. Sisters Of The Eternal Son)

x

Track List: Maraqopa

1. Nothing Is The News

2. Life Away From The Garden

3. Maraqopa

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

x

Track List: Caught In The Trees

1. Gillian Was A Horse

2. Trials

3. Caskets

4. Coats Of Ice

5. Go First

6. Sorry Is For You

7. Last Rights

8. Dimes

9. Everything Trying

10. Sheets

11. Paper Kite

12. Best Dress

13. Predictive Living

x

Track List: And Now That I'm In Your Shadow

1. Hoquiam

2. Denton, TX

3. I Had No Intentions

4. Hotel Hospital

5. And Now That I'm In Your Shadow

6. What Were The Chances

7. Shannon Rhodes

8. There Goes Your Man

9. I Am Still Here

10. Gasoline Drinks

11. Survived By Her Husband

12. Gas Station

13. Montesano

x

Track List: On My Way to Absence

1. White Center

2. Lottery

3. Big Decision

4. Lion Tamer

5. Fuel

6. Sucker

7. Simple Hello

8. I Am The Mountain

9. Night Out For The Downer

10. Northbound

11. Icicle

12. A Jealous Heart Is a Heavy Heart

x

Track List: Just In Time For Something

1. Smith 1972

2. Motion Sickness

3. NightOut For The Downer

4. Prices

5. Engine Fire

x

Track List: I Break Chairs

1. Paperwings

2. Dancing

3. Birdcage

4. Inevitable

5. Air Show Disaster

6. Never Ending Tide

7. Big Deal

8. The Way You Look

9. Castles

10. Like Titanic

11. Parade

12. Lose My Head

x

Track List: Ghost Of David

1. Medication

2. Desert

3. Johnny Go Riding

4. Great Today

5. Tonight I Will Retire

6. Ghost Of David

7. Parking Lot

8. Rearview

9. Paxil

10. Walk With Me

11. December

12. Rosewood Casket

13. Ghost In The Snow

x

Track List: Rehearsals For Departure

1. Ohio

2. Tragedy

3. Curbside

4. Honey Baby

5. Eyes For Windows

6. Letters & Drawings

7. Love The Same

8. Saturday

9. Tornado

10. Rehearsals For Departure

x

Track List: Waters Ave. S.

1. Wedding Cake

2. Angel Of May

3. Treasures Of Gold

4. Yuma, AZ

5. The Joke Is Over

6. Space Age Mom

7. Circus, Circus, Circus

8. Hell Or Highwater

9. Independent

10. Purple Anteater

11. Sarah

12. Halo Friendly

13. Waters Ave. S.

x

Track List: Ohio (Filous Remix) (Single)

1. Ohio (Filous Remix)

x

Track List: Saint Bartlett

2. Arkansas

3. Rachel & Cali

4. Throwing Your Voice

5. Wallingford

6. Pear

7. Kansas City

8. Harborview

9. Kalama

10. The Falling Snow

11. Beacon Hill

12. With Lightning In Your Hands

x

Track List: Silver Timothy (Single)

1. Silver Timothy

Comments

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I've only recently discovered Damien Jurado, and I'm so happy to have this brilliant catalogue of music to explore, and sad that I hadn't found it sooner.
Brilliant.
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This song is important to my life
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Mr Jurado is like a fine wine, he keeps getting better with age.
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yes
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Big fan!
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I love it. Beautiful!!! ***!!!
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That's a pretty tight song he's got
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Song: Sheets

I love this song to much
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pandora11366 4
Kinda sounds like Jay Farrar.
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Love him...So unique.
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@anewkirk42 it might be pronounced in Spanish
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how do you pronounce his last name?
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reidwrites
Damien Jurado: perhaps Seattle's most underrated musician. See the movie Lucky Them for this reason alone. The song that the reporter thinks is her long lost ex/ famous fictional musician Matthew Smith is actually Damien Jurado. Amazing song.
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who would write a song about White Center?? lol jkjk
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David Bazan (Pedro the Lion)'s influence is undeniably thick on Jurado's instrumentat i o n on this record--whic h is awesome. :-)
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David Bazan (Pedro the Lion)'s influence is undeniably thick on Jurado's instrumentat i o n on this record--whic h is awesome. :-)
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This dude!!!!!
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Story of my life
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HES GOOD
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I love the guitar in this song
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He keeps getting better, man I got to make to see him play!!!
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Favorite song so far is definitely Denton,TX. So beautiful.
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love it! follow me if you agree, I WILL FOLLOW BACK!
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Awesome track! wierd ive never heard of him before...... ( the cover clouds look like a dragon :)
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SOMETHING STANDS OUT IN STYLE OF FREELANCE KINDA PLAYING AROUND.
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Found him a few months ago... and caught his show last week, was amazing, chatted for a min, very nice.... im a fan for life. A "real artist"
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pearlorene
He has a unique, beautiful voice. I just heard his song and I am instantly in love. This is a rarity for me.
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Amazing music he has!!!!!
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joshie363
Willow smells like feces.
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love this song so much.
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awesome artist lovelovelove
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completely gay and awkward.
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I think Jurado is much quieter and more mellow than Bazan. It's okay, they're both great!
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Not cousins, but they used to play together quite a bit. They've played on each others albums here and there.
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tkmurra1
Before I looked, I thought this was Bazan. Def not "very different" from Bazan. His voice/delive r y sound the same and so do the guitars and tempo. Tell me that they are cousins.
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Great Music!
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Even though he shows up on my Bazan station, I think he's very different from Bazan.
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Great sounds, moving lyrics...dee p . Definitely a fan!
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Heard Everything Trying on HOUSE. LOVED IT!
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Loved it!
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Wow...first time I've heard him or heard of him...love it!
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berryk1986
david bazan much?
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Wow, that really hit home. The depth of his voice, like he's singing at the pace of life. Urgent but without a sense of time.
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I just got into Damien and started with Caught in the trees and Rehearsals for Departure. I'm ready for more.
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Can anyone recommend a good album of his to start with? Pandora fed me his "Trials" a while back and I bought it on iTunes. Now I want more...
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k.l.gyulafia
For a recent review of the Saint Bartlett album, with in-depth opinions, check out Spectrum Culture:
http://spect r u m c u l t u r e . c o m / 2 0 1 0 / 0 6 / d a m i e n - j u r a d o - s a i n t - b a r t l e t t . h t m l
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rschauland4
A great live performer if you ever have a chance to see him. It's a cool experience: like the music almost takes a back seat to his intricate storytelling . Like a terrific storyteller reinforcing his words with delicate guitar. Good stuff.
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jarrett313
Mr. Jurado has written many good songs, and his voice is intoxicating . I always leave from his shows feeling as though I have privileged to something very special, not to mention that he is kind, generous, and easy to get along with. I am thankful for his continued music making.
Report as inappropriate
This sound has David Bazan all over it. Sorry that's not an insult. I meant production wise. Is that producing you? Good s**t man I love it.
Report as inappropriate
everytime i hear him pop up i stop typing and look to see who is singing to me.
i am entranced by his voice he reminds me more of mark kozalek than nick drake.

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