first appeared in the Christian hardcore group Coolidge, a band also featuring future Pedro the Lion member David Bazan on drums. In 1996 they were featured on the Tooth & Nail compilation I'm Your Biggest Fan Vol. 1 with the track "Trapped". The group later went on to release a 4 song EP that was released on Radio Recordings.
Jurado's solo career began during the mid-1990s, with him releasing lo-fi folk based recordings on his own cassette-only label, Casa Recordings. Gaining a local cult following in Seattle, he was brought to the attention of Sub Pop Records by Sunny Day Real Estate singer Jeremy Enigk. After two 7" releases ("Motorbike" and "Trampoline") Sub Pop issued his first full album, Waters Ave S. in 1997. His second album Rehearsals for Departure
, released in 1999, was a relative breakthrough. Produced by Ken Stringfellow (The Posies, Big Star), Jurado's second album established him as both a singer and songwriter of great ability.
He often makes use of found sound and field recording techniques, and has experimented with different forms of tape recordings. In 2000 he released Postcards and Audio Letters, a collection of found audio letters and fragments that he had found from sources such as thrift store tape players and answering machines. Also released in 2000 was Ghost of David
, Jurado's bleakest and most personal sounding record to date. I Break Chairs
(Produced by long time friend, Pedro the Lion's David Bazan (2002), his last album for Sub Pop, was a much rockier, electric affair. After signing for the Indiana-based label Secretly Canadian, Damien Jurado reverted to his trademark folk ballad-based style, releasing three more albums: Where Shall You Take Me? (2003)
, On My Way To Absence (2005)
and And Now That I'm In Your Shadow (2007)
The new album "Caught In the Trees"
marks the dawn of a new era for Damien Jurado. It may not be a huge departure from some of his past albums musically, but lyrically Jurado has taken a giant leap forward and there is no turning back. Best known for his dark yet fragile first person fictional tales, Jurado now unlocks the door and invites us into his own enigmatic world with an energy and intensity that is
Jurado took a full year to make this record, longer than ever before, as he ran away from and eventually found himself in his own songs. He subsequently found refuge in sharing the songs with his closest friends and bandmates, Eric Fisher and Jenna Conrad. Having walked alongside him through this most challenging journey, the songs that came out of it are as much theirs as his. Jurado, Fisher, and Conrad collaborated on the compositions - some much more rocking than Jurado fans are used to, but ever as intense - and pulled in producers Kory Kruckenberg and Casey Foubert to contribute their own unique stylings.
Recording started in the summer months and the sweltering heat, and wrapped in the freezing temps of winter. (It is clear on first listen that two distinct seasons are represented through "Caught In the Trees" - an accidental metaphor perhaps?) There was laughter and there was introspection, and the result is a record that Jurado loyalists will find was worth the wait. And perhaps a reason to listen for those who have yet to give this bedraggled storyteller a chance. Damien Jurado releases "Caught In the Trees" at September 9th. Recommended!Damien Jurado - Gillian Was A HorseDamien Jurado - Gillian Was A Horse (radio edit)Damien Jurado @ MySpace
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