Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son

Review of The New Album From Damien Jurado "Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son". The LP comes out on January 21st via Secretly Canadian Records.

Label: Secretly Canadian
Rating: 9.0

American indie rock musician Damien Jurado, originally from Seattle, is to release his eleventh studio album entitled Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son out this month on Secretly Canadian. Since releasing tracks in the mid 1990s on his own cassette-only label, Jurado has made a lot of music, making use of found sounds and field recordings, creating electric and rock based tracks as well as the folk inspired ballads he is now well known for.

Produced by Richard Swift (The Shins, Stereolab), Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son is a sequel to 2012’s Maraqopa, it’s a reflective album looking at ideas of disappearance and alienation. “Magic number” opens with dense layers of sound and Jurado’s recognizable vocals, the music breaks down about a minute in for a quiet interlude filled with only ambient drum taps until it picks up again. This runs nicely into the laid back rhythms and quiet reflective vocals in “Silver Timothy”. Jurado’s soothing voice reasons with listeners; “Go back down, don’t touch the ground”, it feels relaxed like a summer’s evening.

“Metallic Cloud” is delicate and moving, a soft ballad with hints of a country narrative unraveling; “your name was on file so we pulled the case, how does it taste with your mouth from your face? It’s a temporary earth, in case you don’t get out…” “Jericho Road” has more urgency to it, the drums more prominent and the vocals deeper and more forceful – it also has a certain sadness to it; “we are secret souls,” Jurado sings out forlornly.

“Silver Donna” starts the run of four ‘silver’ tracks with a steady rhythm and high pitched vocals – “Silver Donna on the window, our time on the road, don’t you ever go carrying the load, it’s taken care of” – the six minutes of instrumental rhythms act as a sort of half way marker in the album, preparing listeners for the next tracks in a positive, uplifting way. The other ‘silvers’ all have a steady grace to them – indeed the whole album feels assuring, quietly confident even when touched with sad tones – something that probably comes from having ten other albums under your belt already.

“Silver Katherine” sounds the most wise of the four, it’s a solid, building track. The following “Silver Joy” has a soothing, gentle tone to it; acoustic guitar mixes with the advice from Jurado’s soft voice, it’s a folk lullaby; “lay your troubles on the lawn, no need to worry about the now”. “Suns In Our Mind” is a great finishing track, with a harmony of layers and sprinklings of more light, electronic sounds and strings plucking. Beautiful, reflective and full of wisdom, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son is up there with Jurado’s best.

Reviewed by Heather Welsh.


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