Damien Jurado – In the Shape of a Storm

In the Shape of the Storm features some of the sweetest songs Damien Jurado has ever recorded

Album Review by Pete Wild | 12 Apr 2019
  • Damien Jurado – In the Shape of a Storm
Album title: In the Shape of a Storm
Artist: Damien Jurado
Label: Loose
Release date: 12 Apr

By any stretch of the imagination, Damien Jurado is one prolific dude. Despite recording what you might say was a lot of quiet music – acoustic guitars and hushed vocals have been pretty much the order of the day since Ghost of David back in 2000 – he’s never produced a solo acoustic album, until now. It’s also worth saying, despite how prolific he is, he’s never recorded an album as fast as this either: two hours in a California studio, in and out, job done.

Ah, you might think, Jurado has recently said goodbye to his long, long, long time collaborator Richard Swift (who passed away in 2018). Is this his Nebraska? A stripped back, utterly bleak affair, reminiscing on death and other shit that can go wrong? No. (Or not really.)

Here, there are some of the sweetest songs Jurado has ever recorded – Newspaper Gown, for instance, has a swing about it as jaunty as Smog’s Dress Sexy at My Funeral, and Oh Weather kicks off with: 'I would walk the Earth to see you smile'. These are pretty songs for the moment the hangover clears. You’ve been up all night, you’ve had yourself a time, you slept for maybe a minute and started driving home. Throw Me Now Your Arms comes on ('Let me be the first to tell you / I would give up my life') and you know you're loved. It’s a beautiful feeling.

If Evan Dando had recorded this album as an acoustic follow-up to It’s a Shame about Ray, these ten songs would be known and sung and cherished by millions of people across the planet. As it is, it’s a secret treasure for those who know Damien Jurado. Yes it’s stripped back, yes it’s quiet, yes Damien Jurado’s voice is an antique unlikely to trouble your average Solange fan – but maybe that’s the point. 'If I showed up in the shape of a storm', he sings on the title track, 'would you recognise me?' Yes, Damien. We’d know you anywhere.

Listen to: Oh Weather, Throw Me Now Your Arms