Damien Jurado's IN THE SHAPE OF A STORM Out Today On Mama Bird Recording Co.
Damien Jurado has released his new album, In the Shape of a Storm, on Mama Bird Recording Co. today following a sold-out release show at Portland's Revolution Hall. Jurado is about to embark on his album release tour, which includes a Northeast run with Anna St. Louis, before heading through the South, and making an appearance at Pickathon this summer. Aquarium Drunkard featured Jurado's 14th album, and first for Mama Bird Recording Co., alongside an evocative essay by Jason Woodbury on In the Shape of a Storm earlier this week. Josh Terry and Jurado spoke, ostensibly, about a handful of songs from Jurado's decades-long career for Vinyl, Me Please; the conversation twists and turns but Jurado's focus rests heavily on the effect his late friend, and producer, Richard Swift has, and continues to have, on him. The album's release follows closely on the heels of the third single, the beautifully sentimental "Throw Me Now Your Arms". More upbeat than the previous two singles, the song paints a picture of love, support and healthy devotion. A stunning piece, it was preceded by the first single "South", where Jurado is able to "wrangle every ounce of emotion" out of the stark, stunning simplicity of his voice and acoustic guitar." (Stereogum) "South" was followed by the opening track from the new album, an unearthed two decade-old song, "Lincoln", which had been slated for Juado's third record but lost in a freak chance of a technical glitch, only to be re-discovered and re-recorded for In the Shape of a Storm.
Buy/Stream In the Shape of a Storm HERE.
Damien Jurado Tour Dates
5/10 Burlington, VT, Arts Riot*
5/11 Portsmouth, NH, 3S Artspace*
5/12 Hamden, CT, Space Ballroom*
5/13 Holyoke, MA, Gateway City Arts*
5/14 Allston, MA, Great Scott*
5/15 Brooklyn, NY, Park Church Co-op*
5/16 Brooklyn, NY, Park Church Co-op*
5/17 Philadelphia, PA, Johnny Brenda's*
5/18 Washington, DC, U Street Music Hall*
5/20 Pittsburgh, PA, Cabaret at Theater Square*
5/22 Hopewell, NJ, Hopewell Theater*
5/23 Ithaca, NY, The Haunt*
5/24 Toronto, ON, The Drake Hotel*
6/20 Asheville, NC, Asheville Masonic Temple
6/22 Lexington, KY, The Burl
6/23 Charleston, WV, Mountain Stage (Cultural Center Theater)
6/24 Charlottesville, VA, Woolen Mills Chapel
6/25 Richmond, VA, Richmond Music Hall
6/27 Durham, NC, Motorco Music Hall
6/28 Charlotte, NC, Neighborhood Theater
6/29 Decatur, GA, Eddie's Attic
6/30 Decatur, GA, Eddie's Attic
7/01 Athens, GA, The World Famous
8/2-4 Happy Valley, OR, Pickathon
*with Anna St. Louis
For more than two decades, Jurado has sung folk songs brimming with prophetic imagination. Whether singing ballads about killers, wounded lovers, UFO cults, or yes, 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.
Damien has always worked fast, but In the Shape of a Storm came together with unprecedented speed. Recorded over the course of 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 Jurado's voice, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment from Josh Gordon, playing a high-strung guitar tuned Nashville style, rendering its sound 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," Jurado says. The idea of an unadorned album became its own medium in his mind, like a painter who sets down his brushes and instead opts for charcoal pencils instead.
Damien Jurado's discography is filled with songs written as miniature movies, cinematic vignettes that capture people, the places they are from, and where they are going. In the Shape of a Storm is his first black and white picture. It's both a snapshot of two hours in a California recording studio and a document spanning 19 years and a life of music.
Mama Bird Recording Co. is a Portland, Ore. based record label committed to exceptional songcraft. Founded in 2011, their catalog includes acclaimed albums from Haley Heynderickx, Courtney Marie Andrews, Saintseneca, Izaak Opatz, Barna Howard, Matt Dorrien, Myriam Gendron and Vikesh Kapoor, among others.
The album is now available for pre-order on LP, "Aspen Bark" ltd. LP variant, CD, and digitally.