Damien Jurado And Now That I'm in Your Shadow

Acclaimed Seattle-based songwriter Damien Jurado has penned an intriguing collection of left-of-centre folk songs about the complexities of love and the strain of relationship dynamics. "Hoquiam” is a melancholy waltz, and begins a record that is unexpectedly introspective for Jurado. "Denton, TX” is a rather compelling narrative about a girl and its dramatic tension is heightened by the duet between Jurado and band-mate Jenna Conrad. It’s a soft song about complicated love but is still among the more upbeat tracks here. "I Had No Intentions” is painfully stark and outlines a romantic relationship triangle that leads to murder, while the title track features an intricate, ambient soundtrack pushing Jurado’s spooky quavering vocals forward. The intrusive drum machine that begins "What Were the Chances” afterwards is almost comical but it suits the somewhat jaunty melody and impassioned delivery of Jurado and Conrad. Jurado channels Richard Buckner on the mournful "Shannon Rhodes” and the cryptic folk sound of "There Goes Your Man” is reminiscent of Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. The latter continues the jilted lover thread that runs throughout this record, where Jurado outlines various scenarios and perspectives of such a circumstance. Some, like "I Am Still Here,” are heart wrenchingly plain spoken, while others such as "Gasoline Drinks” are multi-layered instrumentally and poignantly personal lyrically. The songs on And Now That I’m Your Shadow are vividly rendered tales of woe and Damien Jurado demonstrates that his remarkable attention to detail sustains an emotional connection to his work. (Secretly Canadian)