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2/11 KUMD Album Reviews: <em>Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son</em>


Damien Jurado is a hard musician to pin down. Not only hopping between several record labels since striking out as a solo artist in the mid 1990s, but cycling through various genres and sound production methods, the Seattle-native singer/songwriter crafts albums where the one your hearing cannot be said to be like the others.By Basement Reviewer: Rebeccah Roberts

In keeping with the tradition, his January 21 release of Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son through Secretly Canadian records carries a different sonic flavor than what he's done before - the once-electric-rocker, twice-acoustic-singer-songwriter, once-found-audio-producer, and thrice over-other-musical-inventor does it again with this release, infusing new musical elements with his already-established repertoire of musical styles. Jurado has shuffled through his pockets and came up with a jazzy psychedelic melange this time around, melancholic undertones contrasting a (mostly) large-band backdrop with subtle electronic touches and just a splash here and there of his acoustic singer/songwriter roots. The result is lovingly intimate, intended thematically to be a follow-up of his 2012 album, Maraqopa, which roughly traces the story of a man who just disappears one day in search of himself and never goes home. However, in this journey, he meets a series of characters (so called "Silver Donna", "Silver Katherine", etc.), presenting short vignettes on their persons. Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son is a beautiful listen, shifting from Latin-influenced jazz-rock tunes, to fully acoustic numbers, and through uplifting psychedelic rock. Jurado's story in this album begins with a cry to the setting sun, "Magic Number", painted in deep brown tones of electric guitar and a synthesized orchestra. It's a dark psychedelic rock piece, whose mood extends through the first third of the album. Hints of Latin rhythm crop up here and there, until we arrive at just a man with his guitar, in tracks like "Silver Katherine" and "Silver Joy", which at the end of the album, represent a salutation to the morning. At times, these songs sound a bit like another Seattle band, Fleet Foxes, and many other parts of the album seem to emulate their unique, mulch-layered and resonant style of vocal production. Other influences appear as well. He sometimes sounds a bit like Father John Misty with his twisting lyrics that don't quite provide the entire setting, and other times the use of rhythm and bass lends itself to dub and reggae comparisons. Under less adept hands, this kind of musical melding may have led to disaster, but under the tasteful direction of Jurado, it's a cohesive progression through a cold and lonely night spent meeting strangers on the road and only getting to touch the surface of their stories.

Recommended Tracks: "Silver Timothy", "Silver Donna", "Silver Katherine"

Sounds Like: Fleet Foxes, Father John Misty, David Bazan, M. Ward, Castanets