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For more than two decades, Damien Jurado has sung folk songs brimming with prophetic imagination. Whether singing ballads about killers, wounded lovers, UFO cults, or the phantoms of departed friends, he’s populated his work with eerie foretelling, the sense that he’s divining something just on the verge of happening. He wrote his last record, 2018’s The Horizon Just Laughed as a goodbye letter to his home of Seattle, Washington, before he’d even decided to leave there for sunny Los Angeles. And while he recorded the ten songs featured on In the Shape of a Storm months before the passing of his longtime collaborator and close friend Richard Swift, it’s no coincidence that Swift’s death looms over the album. “His absence is very much felt on this record,” Jurado says.
Recorded over the course of just two hours one California afternoon, it’s Jurado’s sparsest album to date. Gone are the thundering drums and psychedelic arrangements that defined the trilogy of concept albums he made with Swift. Gone even is the atmospheric air that hovered above his early albums for Sub Pop. Here, there’s only his voice, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment from Josh Gordon, playing a high-strung guitar tuned Nashville style, rendering its sound spooky and celestial. It will see a release on the 12th April via Loose here in the UK.
Check out the first track, the austerely brilliant South.