Damien Jurado is set to return to Europe next month. The tour, which kicks off in London on 21st February, sees Jurado showcasing his critically acclaimed 14th studio album, ‘In the Shape of a Storm’, which came out last April.
Damien Jurado has always been a fast worker, but even by his standards, ‘In the Shape of a Storm’ came together with unprecedented speed. Recorded over the course of just two hours one afternoon in a Southern California studio, his first fully acoustic album is also his sparsest, most introspective record to date.
Gone are the thundering drums, psychedelic arrangements and experimental nature of the trilogy of concept albums he made with his longtime collaborator and close friend, Richard Swift, who sadly died in 2018 aged only 41, arising from complications related to his alcoholism. “I think about him every day,” Jurado says. “That’s not an exaggeration—every day. He had a real insight into things and was truly, truly unique. He just thought anything conventional was dumb, which I greatly admired. I honestly don’t know where I’d be if I’d never met him. He taught me so much.”
‘In the Shape of a Storm’ features only Jurado’s voice, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment from Josh Gordon, playing a high-strung guitar, rendering the album’s sound somewhat spooky and celestial. Though fans have long requested a solo acoustic album, the prospect never made sense to Jurado, until one day it simply did. “It just felt like it was time,” he says.
“There is nothing left to hide,” Jurado sings on ‘Lincoln’, which opens the record. It’s something of a statement of intent for these songs. Everything here is clear and laid bare, two-tone, like the drawing Jurado crafted for the record’s cover. Originally written for his 2000 album, ‘The Ghost of David’, ‘Lincoln’ was shelved and forgotten about until Damien came across it on an old cassette tape. The discovery inspired him to go about gathering up songs that had never found proper homes. As a result, ‘In the Shape of a Storm’ is like an archive of previously abandoned songs.
Damien Jurado UK tour dates:
21 Feb – LONDON, Emmanuel Centre
22 Feb – BIRMINGHAM, St Paul’s Church
23 Feb – BRISTOL, St George’s
25 Feb – LEEDS, City Varieties
26 Feb – GLASGOW, Òran Mór
27 Feb – BELFAST, Ulster Sports Club
01 Mar – FOLKESTONE, Quarterhouse
‘In the Shape of a Storm’ is out now on Loose.