MP3 At 3PM: Damien Jurado

damienjurado4578No stranger to painting metaphorical and literal vignettes of America’s most forgotten spaces (start with “Ohio,” “Abilene,” “Omaha” and “Yuma, AZ”), Damien Jurado introduces us to his ninth LP, Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian), by way of “Arkansas.” With few exceptions, Jurado’s poignant work is marked by its stripped, spartan delicacy, and “Arkansas” reminds us that Jurado can form an astounding amount of beauty with minimal device. Inviting friend and collaborator Richard Swift to the helm, the songwriter continues to subtly evolve, bringing Spector-esque reverb, percussion and strings to the fore, quelling his typically prominent acoustic guitar to a low, though effective, hum in the mix. Definitively Jurado, “Arkansas” is as rich as the Natural State it depicts, an American treasure that—like Jurado—remains unaffected despite its under-appreciation. Saint Bartlett arrives May 25.

“Arkansas” (download):

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