Damien Jurado Maraqopa on Vinyl LP
Damien Jurado’s newest collaboration with producer Richard Swift drops us into a brutal and benevolent landscape. The bold strokes and new turns the pair made with 2010’s Saint Bartlett are taken even further. He throws open the gate on his oft insular dirges and allows them to do some real wilding out in the canyon. In Maraqopa, the vistas are miles-wide; the action is more dynamic; the close-ups sweaty and snarling.
The strummed desert blues that begins “Nothing is the News” quickly bursts open into an Eddie Hazel-worthy supernova shred session, all of it swirling in tinny-psych and Echoplex’d howls. We’ve never heard anything like this from Jurado. Fifteen years into his remarkable career, and he continues to blossom. Jurado and Swift establish themselves not only as inventive, trusting collaborators, but as one another’s spirit animals in American outsider songcraft, lone wolves in black sheep’s clothing. Swift is the Ennio Morricone to Jurado’s Sergio Leone.
At Swift’s National Freedom studios, the live-to-tape ethos allowed these songs to expand and retract like a great beast’s breath. Every in-the-moment bell and whistle here is hung with a natural, casual care. And from this, each song offers up its own unique gift: the enchanting children’s choir that echoes each line of Jurado’s lament for innocence lost on “Life Away from the Garden”; the breezy bossa nova that begins “This Time Next Year” and rises as effortless as a smoke cloud into high-noon showdown pop; “Reel to Reel's" wobbly, Spector-symphony and its meta themes; and the wonderful falsetto vocal work Jurado pulls from himself on “Museum of Flight.”
Damien Jurado Maraqopa Track Listing:
1. Nothing Is The News
2. Life Away From The Garden
4. This Time Next Year
5. Reel To Reel
6. Working Titles
7. Everyone A Star
8. So On, Nevada
9. Museum Of Flight
10. Mountains Still Asleep