Tag Archives: Visions Of Us On The Land

Damien Jurado – Visions Of Us On The Land

I have had mixed feelings about Damien Jurado’s working relationship with Richard Swift. The relationship has gotten better with each record and I think it’s produced some of Jurado most interesting work and a bunch of songs I love. Visions Of Us On The Land is Swift and Jurado’s best collaboration to date. By simplifying and streamlining the arrangements, the two have created a wonderful indie pop record that’s easy to listen to.

The highlight track on this record is Exit 353, and Jurado makes you wait for it. Super poppy, with a great, unconventional hook. The songs just moves along, verse to verse, and what I’m calling the hook is really just a refrain that ends the track. But it’s catchy as hell and long after you’ve spun the track the words will be echoing in your brain. Or maybe with age the refrain of “I was an old man” just sticks with me a little more than it used to. It’s an absolute gem of a song and easy to see why it was the lead single from the record. It’s also crazy to think that Jurado wasn’t even sure if the song had a place on the album.

Visions still has it’s fair amount of quirkiness. I get the vibe of Wilco covering Beach Boy’s Pet Sounds. And I don’t hate it. But I’ll be honest, a lot of the songs have a similar vibe. Which again, I don’t hate. What makes me like Visions more than the pervious Jurado/Swift outings is how scaled back Visions is. There’s a lot more space for Jurado to be Jurado with just a guitar and vocal.

There are a bunch of songs on Visions, and I like the record. But there’s only really one song that stands out and really does anything for me. It’s my favorite record Jurado and Swift have done together. But there’s not a whole lot here that grabs me. Even owning the vinyl, I find myself putting the record on and enjoying it, but not really stopping and diving in. I give the record 4 out of 5 stars. Good, but not great.


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Damien Jurado Premieres New Single

Damien Jurado’s new record Visions Of Us On The Land comes out March 18, 2016 on Secretly Canadian Records. Today he’s premiered the first single from that record, Exit 353, at NPR Music. Here’s Jurado on Exit 353:

“‘Exit 353’ was the first song I wrote for this new album, and I initially wasn’t sure about it. When it came time for me to be in the studio, sitting in front of the microphone, I hesitated as to whether or not I would actually perform it once I received the signal from Richard [Swift] that we were recording. I over-counted the beginning and just sang it through. When the take was finished, Richard turned to me and said, ‘I think this could be a great single.’ Living in the fresh uncertainty of what I had just recorded, I just had to lean into it and trust his instinct.”

Go check the song out at http://www.npr.org/sections/allsongs/2015/12/15/459771535/song-premiere-damien-jurado-exit-353

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