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Psychedelic road trips
Sunday, 17.07.2016, 20:20
oh what a night...
Damien Jurado
«I went looking for a new direction / Indecisive, undecided» are words on «Onalaska», one of the eerier tracks on his brand new album. But there isn’t anything indecisive or undecided about the whole of it by this great American artist.

The final installment of a loose trilogy that began with 2012’s «Marapoqua» and continued with 2014’s «Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son», Damien keeps things on edge with this year’s «Visions Of  Us On The Land«. It’s a 17-song masterpiece and not an easy album to listen to and not one that resolves in sappy conclusion. The concept still features the unnamed protagonist on his fogged-out trip through metaphysical landscapes searching and probing for answers buried in a strange reality, a travelogue through life that leads to infinity, maybe. The album was created in third straight collaboration with producer and The Shin’s keyboard Richard Swift. Together they’re like the Leiber & Stoller of Americana folk and that match made in indie heaven keeps giving some pretty strange fruit. Their combined talents culminate in a sound based on gorgeous lush indie folk-rock arrangements, bass drum detonations, sweeping nasty synth excursions and reassuring finger-picking guitar. All always a little off, a little unnerving, they’re psychedelic road trips to where mere mortals fear to tread.

Performed in an often ghostly voice and haunting sing-song it’s the words of this Western poet that’ll wrench your soul and your mind. His writing has been compared to that of Raymond Carver, a giant of American literature and a merciless chronicler of life in the American West through his short stories. Like the great man, Damien freezes your soul and keeps your mind aflame «Does your blood run cold / Or your eyes go white / On a borrowed soul / And on borrowed time?»

Damien Jurado and «Visions». Hear him with your eyes and see him with your ears, one thing’s for sure – the American West is full of the wonderful strangeness of life. And it plays great music. 

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