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Damien Jurado
Visions of Us On the Land (2016)

Damien Jurado — Visions of Us On the Land (2016)

  Damien Jurado — Visions of Us On the Land (2016) Damien Jurado — Visions of Us On the Land (2016)■♠■   Alternately acoustic and electric indie singer/songwriter with an ear for a haunting melody.  Providing the ideal entry point for neophytes and an intoxicating aural high for the faithful, Damien Jurado’s new opus extends the hot streak ignited by 2012’s Maraqopa and its 2014 follow–up Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. Cut once again with label mate and super producer Richard Swift at the latter’s National Freedom recording facility in rural Oregon, Visions of Us On The Land completes the tale of an individual who has had to disappear from society in order to discover some universal truths. Essential Tracks: “A.M. A.M.”, “And Loraine”, and “Kola” (Review: Dusty Henry, Score: B / Consequence Of Sound)Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
Album release: March 18, 2016
Record Label: Secretly Canadian
Genre: Indie Folk, Indie Rock, Singer–Songwriter
Duration:     52:05 + 83:37 => 135:42
Tracks:
01. November 20     2:01
02. Mellow Blue Polka Dot     3:28
03. QACHINA     3:48
04. Lon Bella     3:12
05. Sam and Davy     3:33
06. Prisms     2:19
07. ONALASKA     3:35
08. TAQOMA     3:41
09. On the Land Blues     2:47
10. Walrus     3:13   
11. Exit 353     3:14
12. Cinco de Tomorrow     3:27
13. And Loraine     2:35
14. A.M. AM     3:17
15. Queen Anne     2:21
16. Orphans in the Key of E     3:04
17. Kola     2:35
Deluxe Edition:
18. November 20 (Demo)      1:23
19. Sam and Davy (Demo)      2:53
20. Prisms (Demo)      1:21
21. ONALASKA (Demo)      1:22
22. On the Land Blues (Demo)      3:05
23. On the Land Blues (Alternate Take) [Demo]      1:19
24. Exit 353 (Demo)      2:03
25. Cinco de Tomorrow (Demo)      2:45
26. And Loraine (Demo)      2:23
27. A.M. AM (Demo)      3:20
28. Queen Anne (Demo)      2:10
29. Orphans in the Key of E (Demo)      3:18
30. Got Light (Prev Unreleased / Demo)      1:56
31. Tapess (Prev Unreleased / Demo)      2:26                                                     Credits:
■   Miles Johnson Design, Layout
■   Damien Jurado Composer, Producer
■   Miles Jurado Assistant Arranger
■   Brian Koch Artwork
■   Richard Swift Producer
■   T.W. Walsh Mastering
Awards:
Billboard Albums
■   2016 Visions Of Us On The Land Top Heatseekers      #4
■   2016 Visions Of Us On The Land Top Independent Albums      #27
■   2016 Visions Of Us On The Land Top Rock Albums      #33AllMusic Review by Marcy Donelson;  Score: ****
■   On his 12th studio LP, Visions of Us on the Land, revered songwriter’s songwriter Damien Jurado continues a trend of moving incrementally deeper into psychedelic textures since beginning to work with producer Richard Swift three albums ago. Their fourth collaboration evokes a flickering aurora peering through charcoal clouds with its swirl of heavy folk–rock and contemplative psychedelia. That quality is accentuated by Jurado’s soft–landing vocals, which due to context recall the Zombies’ Colin Blunstone more than ever. The album also marks the third straight entry in an unplanned trilogy that Jurado wrote and delivers in character (following Maraqopa and Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son). With elements of the spiritual and the science fictional, the epic story leaves community behind on Visions. Its 17 songs follow the unnamed protagonist on travels across the U.S. with a female companion, on a quest for meaning (“Why sit around and wait to die?”). A seeming allusion to music of the late ‘60s, the song title “Mellow Blue Polka Dot” brings with it ghostly effects, insistent guitar strumming, and driving, tribal–sounding drums, along with poetic foreboding: “Stick around/It gets worse/In your shoes/Here’s your curse.” Later, the circular, echoing “Cinco de Tomorrow” has him willfully, if temporarily, getting left behind, one of several songs with lyrics about anticipating goodbyes. While the album’s tone is certainly solemn, the music isn’t short on rhythmic hooks (“Walrus” is outright funky) or melodic vitality (“A.M. AM”). The expansive “ONALASKA” uses diverse effects to rally a rattling bassline, varied organ voices, and vocal delay as it maneuvers through time signatures and tempos. Elsewhere, the fragile “Prisms” offers intimate acoustic guitar and a tottering vocal line as Jurado ponders the future, memory, and perception. The album gets sweeter and sparser toward the end, taking on more of a Simon & Garfunkel quality, as on the tender, penultimate “Orphans in the Key of E.” The nearly hourlong record’s story ends inauspiciously, with the traveler looking back on his life and companion with affection but with an implied past tense. It’s an intense and trippy odyssey, one that should make fans old and new appreciative of Jurado’s depth while mulling along: “Are we all not lost in song/Feeding back until we’re found?” °    http://www.allmusic.com/ // Website: http://damienjurado.com/
♠   Maraqopa the album introduced a character deliberately unnamed, intended to represent anyone feeling that way who stumbles upon the titular locale then gets into a car crash… which only frees him further. Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. It picked up the narrative after the accident, in a commune inhabited by Silver Timothy, Silver Donna, and Silver Malcolm. Visions of Us On The Land journeys further into the subconscious mind, a symbolic road trip spotlighting the people and towns that our central figure and his travelling companion, Silver Katherine, encounter upon leaving the commune. Hence the capitalized track titles, alluding to real American locations refracted through ones third eye in the rear view mirror. Like all great art, its about life and death and love and freedom. A sonic map with no set destination, revealing more with each ride. (Secretly Canadian)  //  This is the latest release from an artist with a long history of good music. I have now given this a few listens. I admit that I long for the acoustic recorded sounds and production of Ghost of David and Now that I am in your shadow. I got a little nostalgic of that style on the bonus disc from Brothers and sisters of the eternal son. This new release continues the trend of the production and mixing style that started with Saint Bartlett. However, on this particular release the gritty sounding mix further adds to the mood. I am an audiophile by nature. However, I have learned not to let that get in the way of the music. The album starts off mellow. As you get into the first few tracks keep your ears peeled for samples of Silver Timothy. By track 4 I was hooked. If you get this album, be sure to give it a couple listens to catch all the hidden parts with in the music. Now back to the Oasis for another listen.
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Damien Jurado
Visions of Us On the Land (2016)

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