A great write-up from my friends at Visible Voice
Damien Jurado's latest album, Brothers and Sister of the Eternal Son, finds the singer songwriter still ruminating in the despairing way listeners have come to know him best. Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son is a melancholic folk rock album that at times is ethereal employing 60's inspired arrangements a la the Zombies, or the moody calling of Echo & the Bunnymen. The songs are also psychedelic, worldly and a little cinematic if that film were an early 1970s sci-fi film. That's not to discredit Jurado's work. Jurado himself has never made the same record twice, which is what keeps his songwriting so interesting. On Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, Jurado still gives listeners something new while recognizing his work in the past.
Tracks like "Metallic Taste" and "Suns in Our Mind" are the poppiest Jurado allows himself to get musically. Though even at its bleakest moments the album's songs still sink their hooks into you. Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son comes across more like a soundtrack than a strict album. Jurado's narrative follows the singer/songwriter as he continues to seek out an identity and finds himself at a crossroads. We never really know what it is Jurado is searching for, though perhaps Jurado himself doesn't know either. "I don't think I could choose a side / sunlights, they're not meant to shine" he sings on "Suns in Our Mind." What we do know is that the raw emotions at play on this album pull on our narrator influencing each word he gives us and paints a shadowy portrait of his world.
As an artist, Jurado has kept his music interesting by approaching his songwriting on each album differently. On Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun Jurado once again teams with producer Richard Swift whom he last worked with on 2012's Maraqopa. Jurado's calls his latest effort a somewhat sequel to Maraqopa (look no further than the track "Return to Maraqopa"), but Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son is more than just part two of a great album. Jurado seems to finally be getting comfortable in his own skin, or, at least, he's found a skin that fits well for now.
The album's production is atmospheric and beautiful. The lyrics: honest. Swift accurately helps Jurado capture his dreamscapes in sound and renders them gorgeously bleak. It's a sound that comes across, at times, cleverly nostalgic and contemporary (so accurately rendered is the world created on this record, it has Father John Misty gushing about it on SPIN). If this album is Jurado getting comfortable, then let's settle in with him.
Words by Craig Robert Brown
Photos by Adam Richert
STG Presents: Damien Jurado Album Release Show, Special Guest: Naomi Wachira, Friday, January 17, Doors at 8:00 pm, Show at 9:00 pm