Damien Jurado – Visions of Us on the Land

Album Review by Andrew Gordon | 03 Mar 2016
Album title: Visions of Us on the Land
Artist: Damien Jurado
Label: Secretly Canadian
Release date: 18 Mar

The third entry in his informal Maraqopa trilogy – a string of rustic, lightly psychedelic records themed around an imaginary hippie commune – Visions finds the Americana-peddling Seattleite treading familiar ground and checking in with some friendly faces. Loyal fans will catch a clever nod or two – the hook from 2014’s Silver Timothy reappears here, submersed in dreamy echo like a foggy memory – but all listeners should benefit from the alluring sense of history that undergirds Jurado’s well-worn characters.

His existential cowboy persona is an easy favourite, a groovy lost soul who wanders 'long road[s] to unwind' amid adventurous productions that bring to mind quirky 60s icon Lee Hazlewood. Other moments are less distinctive: it’s true Jurado’s been around much longer, but these ears can’t help but hear echoes of more contemporary folksy troubadours Fleet Foxes. On the Land Blues is especially reminiscent of the latter’s Blue Ridge Mountains, but lacks their pathos and grandeur. Otherwise, there’s plenty else for the ears to feast on.

Playing Manchester St. Philips Church on 16 Apr http://damienjurado.com