Following the announcement of his new album, In the Shape of a Storm, which Loose will release on 12 April, Damien Jurado has shared the LP’s opening track – Lincoln.
Lincoln is a two decade-old track, which had been slated for his third record. Jurado shared the genesis of the song:
“Lincoln, written in 1998, was originally slated for my third album not-yet-titled, Ghost of David. I had 13 songs recorded for the album on to a newly purchased digital 8-track machine. And, when the day came to mix the finished album, an error done on my part was made, erasing everything. Now under a deadline with the label to turn in a new album, I came up with the bright idea to scrap every song I had written for the album and start anew.
“All original material was written, and then recorded in a period of less than a week for Ghost of David. Years later, I would come across the only recorded demo I had made for the original album on a cassette. This song was Lincoln. Over the years I considered Lincoln for many of my albums, but the song just couldn’t find the proper place to land. That was until I went in to record my latest album, In the Shape of a Storm. It felt not only fitting to put it on the record, but to have it be the opening song.”
Jurado has enough experience under his belt to wrangle every ounce of emotion out of [just his voice and his guitar].”
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.Listen to the latest episode of the award-winning A Celtic State of Mind with ACE CITY RACERS
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. And while he recorded the ten songs featured on In the Shape of a Storm months before the passing of his longtime collaborator and close friend Richard Swift, it’s no coincidence that Swift’s death looms over the album. “His absence is very much felt on this record,” Jurado says.
Damien has always worked fast, but In the Shape of a Storm came together with unprecedented speed. Recorded over the course of two hours one California afternoon, it’s Jurado’s sparsest album to date. Gone are the thundering drums and psychedelic arrangements that defined the trilogy of concept albums he made with 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.
Though fans have long requested a solo acoustic album, the prospect never made sense to Jurado, until one day it simply did. “It just felt like it was time,” Jurado said. The idea of an unadorned album became its own medium in his mind, like a painter who sets down his brushes and instead opts for charcoal pencils instead.
In the Shape of a Storm [shows] the prolific songwriter at his most vulnerable.”
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.
In the Shape of a Storm Tracklist:
2. Newspaper Gown
3. Oh Weather
5. Throw Me Now Your Arms
6. Where You Want Me to Be
7. Silver Ball
8. The Shape of a Storm
10. Hands on the Table
The album is now available for pre-order on heavyweight LP, CD and digitally HERE.Watch Kevin McKenna with A Celtic State of Mind