Damien Jurado – “Arkansas” (Stereogum Premiere)
Damien Jurado’s simple, effective covers of Microphones’ “Where Lies My Tarp?” and Low’s “Murderer” made for good listening, while also offering interesting personal insights into the Seattle songwriter’s listening habits/aesthetic inspirations. As he told us then:
With a band like Low, I have always compared listening to their music to that of a self reveling and holy, or religious experience. It’s hard to explain. The only way I could describe it is: If you were dying and that feeling of fear or joy comes over you … Low is what that experience would sound like. Everything revealed … and then light or dark, comfort and terror. It’s also present in the work of Phil Elverum: Songs that speak of an unknown darkness, i.e. the album Mount Eerie and “No Flashlight.” I’m fascinated by the unknown … So, when hear songs that touch on that, I’m instantly drawn in.
Jurado has a new collection of originals out in May, his ninth. It’s helpful to keep the above words about holy experiences and unknown darkness in mind when you dip into the Richard Swift-produced Saint Bartlett via ’60s sock-hopping lead track “Arkansas.” Is love a “holy” experience? Sure. Is Arkansas a person or a place? Both and more. And, why the “aw man” when we fade out and the credits roll? It’s up to you to fill-in the finale.
Saint Bartlett is out 5/25 via Secretly Canadian. Jurado and Swift played everything on the album.