Damien Jurado will release his new album, Saint Bartlett, on Secretly Canadian May 25th. Read more and listen to the first single after the jump!
For Damien Jurado’s newest release, he got together with fellow Secretly Canadian artist Richard Swift. The result is my favorite production of his impressive and very dear-to-me catalog. Saint Bartlett was made entirely at Swift’s National Freedom studio in Oregon, in just under a week with only Jurado and Swift as the performers.
Saint Bartlett opens up with a grandiosity yet unheard on a Damien Jurado album. It strips away the many layers of paint from the house down the street where we know Jurado has occupied for the last decade. The new coat is exhilarating. It makes the whole neighborhood shine. It’s a modest grandiosity; still homegrown. The mellotron swells, heavenly handclaps ring in stereo and big drums create a sky for the songs to fly in. And the words. Words spring forth from within the volcano of Jurado, full of hope. There’s so much hope, in fact, that album opener “Cloudy Shoes” turns into a call-and-response with himself, as though it were a dialogue between two halves of himself.
“I wish that I could float up from the ground / I will never know what that’s like”
Heavy stuff. Richard Swift‘s Spector-esque production is spot-on. He ferries Jurado across the river, where the metamorphosis occurs. He then ferries him back, and it is through Swift’s lens that we see Jurado not as a folk singer, but as a mystic — somewhere between Van Morrison, Scott Walker and Wayne Coyne.
Damien Jurado will be touring North America and Europe in late spring and summer.