SEATTLE singer-songwriter Damien Jurado will showcase his acoustic album In The Shape Of A Storm in a solo show at Leeds City Varieties Music Hall on February 25.
The 47-year-old American will be playing ten dates on his European February and March tour after releasing his 14th studio album on April 12 last year.
Jurado always likes to work fast, but In the Shape Of A Storm came together with unprecedented speed, even by his standards, being recorded over the course of two hours one California afternoon.
On his sparsest album to date, gone are the thundering drums and psychedelic arrangements that defined the trilogy of concept albums he made with his long-time collaborator and close friend Richard Swift.
Gone too is the atmospheric air that hovered above his early albums for Sub Pop. Here, instead, there is only Jurado’s voice, acoustic guitar, and occasional accompaniment from Josh Gordon, playing a high-strung guitar tuned Nashville style, rendering its sound spooky and celestial.
Although his fans have long requested a solo acoustic album, the prospect never made sense to Jurado, until one day it simply did. “It just felt like it was time,” Jurado says.
“There is nothing left to hide,” Jurado sings on the opening Lincoln, where everything is clear and laid bare, two tone, like the drawing he crafted for the record’s cover.
Originally written for 2000’s The Ghost Of David, Lincoln was shelved and forgotten until Jurado rediscovered it on an old cassette tape, inspiring him to gather up compositions that had never found proper homes. As a result, In The Shape Of A Storm became an archive of previously abandoned songs.
Jurado’s discography is filled with songs written as miniature movies, cinematic vignettes that capture people, the places they are from, and where they are going. By contrast, In The Shape Of A Storm is his first black and white picture, both a snapshot of two hours in a California recording studio and a document spanning 19 years and a life of music.
“I believe songs have their own time and place,” Jurado says. For these ten, that time has finally come on album number 14.
Tickets for Jurado’s 8pm Leeds gig, when he will be supported by Dana Gavanski, are on sale on 0113 243 0808 or at cityvarieties.co.uk.