The last time singer/songwriter Damien Jurado went to whittle down songs for a new album, he chose not to do it.
The last time singer/songwriter Damien Jurado went to whittle down songs for a new album, he chose not to do it. Unwilling to release a double album, Jurado has decided to bring forth half of those recordings this fall, with the remaining due next spring.
"I thought it might be pretentious to release a double-CD, making people buy both and all. It'd be pretentious and a generally bad idea, unless you like the Who," Jurado tells Billboard.com.
The result is "And Now That I'm In Your Shadow," due Oct. 10 via Secretly Canadian, plus another as-yet-untitled set. The two were divided stylistically, with "Shadow" the darker and "sadder" of the pair.
The two efforts will also mark the first time Jurado has released an album with a full-time band, having taken cellist/vocalist Jenna Conrad and multi-instrumentalist Eric Fisher into the fold. "They write their parts and I can't say a thing about it. I trust them, and whatever they come up with is so great," he says. "We all split the money three ways and each have our own responsibilities. 'We' are Damien Jurado."
Much of the recordings are based on Jurado's visits to Gray's Harbour, Wash., where he spent some of his teenage years. "We had a seventh and eighth grade junior high that only had something like a 100 kids going there. I remember hearing about a gym teacher who had affair with a students' mother or something, and the husband drove to the teacher's house when he found out. When I drove back out there to visit, it was all completely the same," he says from his home in Seattle. "Sometimes it's just so hard to get inspired in a city. Everything is so glossy and shiny. That's not what I'm about."
Jurado has been able to produce a release of some variety once a year nearly every year since his 1997 Sub Pop debut "Waters Ave S." With each successive set, he's tried hard to shrug his guy-with-a-guitar/folk image and be regarded simply as a songwriter capable of more than sad folk songs.
"I've always wanted my music to be cinematic feeling, like you're listening to the movie. I don't want it to be just some songs," he says. "I didn't want it to be folk or acoustic or indie rock, because if you try something new, people act like you can't get away with anything else. When I released [2002's rock-oriented] 'I Break Chairs,' critics just hated it and trashed on it. In reality, I know why they hated it. They wanted to hear [1999's critically acclaimed] 'Rehearsals for Departure' and I didn't give it to them."
The artist will tour with Rosie Thomas beginning in September in the United States, to be followed by a European run in October.