Journeys Through The Doors Of Perception
Flush was fortunate enough to see Damien Jurado perform a very intimate acoustic pre-Christmas solo show in London’s St Pancras Old Church. It couldn’t have been more stripped back other than the guitar on his knee, the contemplative richness of his voice, and the resonance of the church acoustics. It was fantastic. The absence of band distraction only emphasised the power of what we witnessed through the glancing flicker of candle light. And what was happening was the a tossing aside of emotively laden historical baggage (he playfully disowned all his previous work), upon the discovery of a somewhat psychedelic silver encrusted road map to the prize at the end of a symphonic rainbow.
‘Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son’ is the third aural road journey with fellow journey man Richard Swift on production, though it’s Damien’s eleventh album. Combining the life journey of experience and seasoned timbre of Damien’s voice (think Neil Young on a youthful day), with the somewhat mischievous playfulness of Swifts vast and varied musical inspirations, it’s a match made on the porch of warm summers eve psychedelic house party in heaven. Also attending this party are the spirits of Neil Young with Massive Attack/Unkle/Broken Bells/David Lynch, whilst The Flaming Lips did the mind expanding catering.
Damien spoke at the December gig about the build up to this new album, having written a collection of songs that he thought would be the chosen ones, however, after an relaxed evening chat sitting on a porch (not in heaven) with friends, listened once again to his artistic Id, dropped them all, and started again. This self belief (or panic) resulted in the tracks on the album, and clearly a reinvigoration/faith that was evident in the previous two albums, but now had come to the fore and was running point into new audile lands.
Effectively the soundtrack to their journey, it’s a mercurial wanderings through themes, styles, language and meanings. No matter how many times I’ve listened to it (it’s alot), I continually/blissfully drift off into the nebulous space they are painting in my mind, where the words seamlessly blend with harmonics, and the whole album gently washes over you as one. It’s an absolute etherial joy, the mere use of words here does a disservice to what they have created.
In line with Damien’s talk of having never really enjoyed making songs before this album, at least recognising the difficulty/struggle in their creation, all his previous works have become the essential foundation rock to the road he now lays a very smooth surface. This fresh new layer is only going to speed things up, forming future travel journals of new experience, places, emotions, sounds and tales. It’s going to be the journey of a life time.
Damien Jurado ‘Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son’ is out now on Secretly Canadian.