It all began in a dream. This particular dream sparked Damien Jurado’s 2012 record “Maraqopa,” which tells the surreal adventures of a nameless protagonist. The Seattle-based singer/songwriter has now completed the third record in this trilogy with 2016’s “Visions of Us on the Land,” an introspective, psychedelia-tinged album that follows the character’s journey across the U.S. with a partner called Silver Katherine.
It’s an epic tale of travel, love and reflection, but its origin story is simpler than you might expect. “It didn’t really take a lot of thought,” explains Jurado. “It just sort of comes natural for me. I just followed the muse, I guess, and see what happens.”
What ended up happening was one of Jurado’s most diverse, expansive records yet. From electrified folk benders like “Exit 353” and spooky, rollicking cuts like “Mellow Blue Polka Dot” to the swirling, synth-laden “A.M. A.M.,” it’s a far cry from some of the 43-year-old singer’s earlier, minimally produced works.
Richard Swift (the Shins, Dan Auerbach’s side project The Arcs) is responsible for some of his shifting tone. “This is my fourth record with Richard. I obviously like working with him,” says Jurado. “I’ve been looking for someone most of my career to work with. Now that I found the dude … it’d be weird to think about doing a record without him.”
While Jurado’s poetic songwriting often begs for more explanation, he doesn’t have the answers. “I’m not one that really writes a lot of stuff and analyzes it all,” he notes. “I think a lot of people have different interpretations of what certain lines mean. I honestly don’t know. I just sort of write it out. I don’t think about it that often, you know?”
Further, he doesn’t favor particular parts of the record. “For me, [my favorite part’s] just making the record,” says Jurado. “I really like making records. That, to me, is what I remember the most.”
He prefers thinking about “Visions,” and other albums, as a whole. “I could pick out my favorite songs and make a playlist, which is fine, but it kind of goes against the whole idea of the complete work. That’s the problem, I think, with singles. I think singles shouldn’t be taken off the record. I think singles, personally, should be made just for singles and nothing else.”
For his live dates, Jurado is stripping down and just touring with his acoustic guitar. “It feels just how I wrote them.”
If you go:
November 5 at 9 p.m.
52 Church St., Cambridge
November 6 at 9 p.m.
6 Delancey St.
November 7 at 8 p.m.
1201 N. Frankford Ave.