MP3 At 3PM: Damien Jurado

damienjurado214With its calm, repeating melodic movement and casual invocation of coming lyrical themes, “Cloudy Shoes” is our favorite type of album opener. Both welcoming and stirring, the song begins Saint Bartlett (Secretly Canadian), Damien Jurado‘s best work since 2003’s Where Shall You Take Me. Vintage piano, strings, drums and the folk singer’s subdued acoustic strum all join for a melancholic four-chord walk through Jurado’s painful, though hopeful, lyrical world, one where his protagonist is “still trying to fix [his] mind.” Hand claps accent each refrain, further illuminating the communal picture hiding between Saint Bartlett’s lines, as Jurado’s close collaboration with Richard Swift manifests itself wonderfully in throwback production and songwriting technique through-and-through. Jurado has embarked on a lengthy U.S. tour in support of the LP, with fellow Seattle residents Kay Kay And His Weathered Underground helping him bring Saint Bartlett to life each night. And here’s a bonus mp3 for album track “Arkansas.”

“Cloudy Shoes” (download):

“Arkansas” (download):