Damien Jurado continues to chase his dream, literally

In his 17-year career of delivering tender transmissions of the heavy-hearted, Damien Jurado has become known as one of the great somber songsmiths of his generation.

Recently, however, Jurado has changed his tune. After a life-changing dream about a man who disappears never to return, Jurado’s sound and vision have evolved into a triumphant two-part psychedelic and cinematic soundtrack to his own soul-searching. On “Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son,” released this week, Jurado returned to the studio with singer/songwriter and producer Richard Swift for a proper sequel to 2012’s “Maraqopa,” the album that first references that dream.

“After I made ‘Saint Bartlett,’ my life just went to hell in a hand-basket,” Jurado confesses. “I wasn’t leaving the house. I got mentally sick. I had a few nervous breakdowns. It was a really bad scene, man. And then I had this dream and my life sort of changed after that. Sometimes change just takes a long time. It’s not always a beautiful process. Sometimes it’s ugly, and for me it was really, really ugly. Now that I’m on the other end of it, it’s great. I’m living in complete happiness and total freedom. My life is full of color and joy. I think if anything, the new album really reflects that.”

With a sound both ethereal and triumphant, “Brothers and Sisters” is as dark as it is dreamy. Lush and layered vocals culminate in falsettos that seem to soar to the heavens as the patter of drums and celestial shimmer of keys lead to a newfound towering sound. With his lyrics masked in metaphor and laden with religious allusions, Jurado is no longer carrying the emotional weight of his characters, but helping them find transcendence. This is no longer a trip through the terrain of traditional Americana, but instead a path toward salvation.

“I’ve completed the circle now,” says Jurado. “Up until now I made records that I thought would please critics. That’s a very hard thing to admit. I’m not a conformist by any means and I really hate bullshit. I was trying to please fans that wanted songs like ‘Ohio’ and ‘Sheets.’ I think those are great solid songs, and I’m glad that people like those songs, but those songs aren’t me. Richard called me out on it. Meeting him was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. It reminds me of a perfect marriage. You are bringing out the most creative and unique things in your partner and they are doing the same things to you. That’s how Richard and I are. He made me throw down my guitar and say, ‘Screw this; I’m going to be exactly what I was created to be but spent years denying.’ And to me it makes perfect sense.”

So what next?

“There won’t be another part of the story,” notes Jurado. “This is it. There is no end to this story. I don’t know how this ends. It’s one of the many downfalls of waking up from a dream. It’s a bummer, but I can’t do anything about it.”

Jurado live is just a guy with a guitar, which he is OK with, but he wasn’t always OK with that.

“Frankly I don’t get it. I grew up going to see Iron Maiden. I grew up going to see KISS in concert. When I go to a show I wanna see shit blown up on stage. I want to see entertainment. But I have to understand that that is not what everyone is into. Some people just want to see a guy with a guitar and listen to his stories in song. And frankly that’s what I do. And I came to this realization the other night. Finally, after all these years.

Damien Jurado plays Brighton Music Hall in Allston, Mass. on Thurs., Jan. 23, at Bowery Ballroom in NYC on Fri., Jan. 24 and at Boot and Saddle in Philly on Sat., Jan. 25.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

After Eric Garner death, religious leaders meet to…

Interfaith leaders convened with city officials to discuss what the community can do to help dial down heightened tensions after Eric Garner's death.

Local

'Suspicious' Hamilton Heights fire caused by power strip:…

An extension cord overload caused the deadly fire in Hamilton Heights late Monday that killed a 15-year-old girl and injured at least 12 others.

National

At 91, Marvel creator Stan Lee continues to…

By Piya Sinha-RoyLOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Marvel Entertainment's chief emeritus Stan Lee may be in his ninth decade, but it hasn't stopped him from adding…

National

Islamic State says beheads U.S. journalist, holds another

Islamic State insurgents released a video purportedly showing the beheading of U.S. journalist James Foley, who had gone missing in Syria nearly two years ago.

Movies

Review: Sadly, Matthew Weiner's 'Are You Here' is…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner tries his hand at movies with "Are You Here," a misjudged Owen Wilson-Zach Galifianakis comedy that turns into a drama.

Movies

Review: 'Love is Strange' is not only a…

John Lithgow and Alfred Molina tie the knot in "Love is Strange," but the film winds up being more about living with people than an activist picture.

Movies

Frank Miller on writing 'Sin City'

Frank Miller's comics career is a long and storied one, with "Sin City" being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words,…

Movies

Interview: Jessica Alba is a stripper again in…

Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into…

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL defense (DEF)

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL quarterbacks (QB)

MLB

Shane Greene travels unlikely road to Yankees stardom

Shane Greene was throwing a bullpen session on a quiet field at Daytona Beach Community College one day when the ball started moving.

NFL

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL…

2014 Fantasy Football: Rankings, list of top NFL tight ends (TE)

Wellbeing

What eye symptoms need emergency attention?

Many people experience temporary eye-related problems such as pink eye (conjunctivitis) from a cold virus or a scratched cornea resulting from an object coming into…

Sex

Big weddings may lead to longterm happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. A new…

Parenting

Fun family activity: Off-Broadway show for pre-teens

"The Love Note" is an off-Broadway musical your pre-teen won't roll his or her eyes at.

Parenting

Barnes & Noble partners with Samsung to release…

Barnes & Noble releases the first full android tablet optimized for reading.