Another legendary songwriter for A Year In December. Today, I talk about something by Damien Jurado.
Most singer-songwriters bloat their music with instrumentation and production the further they go into their careers. In a sense, Damien Jurado is no exception to the trend—his past few albums build full soundscapes that you can sink in. They are fun trips, but a little part of me always enjoys the old Jurado, the one I imagine writing lyrics on napkins on buses and vans across the continent. I know this is a romanticised image of America and its songwriters but for some reason or other it makes me appreciate the music more. So regardless of the fact that singling out ‘Lou-Jean’ out of a sort of concept album doesn’t do 2018’s The Horizon Just Laughed justice and whether or not ‘Lou-Jean’s Rodriguez, Apache, Elaina, Laredo are names of real places, I buy into the illusion anyway. The reel spins and I’m back in North America, waiting for the driver to yell out my destination city. I push myself off my perforated Greyhound station chair, stand in boots that have never been comfortable, check my ticket and take a breath.