Damien Jurado has a new album, Maraqopa, due in February. Today his label Secretly Canadian leaked its first single, “Nothing Is the News.”
Over the last two years, Jurado has taken his music into darker, sparer, more psychedelic depths; old favorite “Ghost of David,” for instance, has become a set-closing, Jim Morrison-esque sing-speak tone poem, haunted and weird and unsettling. Credit this shift to Jurado’s relatively recent embrace of late-’60s-era Grateful Dead and that band’s dark, pastoral Americana, both electric and acoustic. “Nothing Is the News” finds Jurado once again paired with Richard Swift—the Oregon-based musician and producer that helped make 2010’s Saint Bartlett one of Jurado’s most potent records—trading warbly, teetering electric guitar riffs over whirling organ and shuffling drums in a song reminiscent of Swedish psych-folk band Dungen and Funkadelic’s eerier forays. Jurado’s voice, distant and troubled, is like a bad omen.
Jurado plays a live stream at the Seattle Times on December 15. The release party for Maraqopa is February 17, 2012 at the Neptune with Gold Leaves and Bryan John Appleby.