While some of us were joining pandemic book clubs or binge-watching obscure Nordic noir crime shows, Damien Jurado kept doing what he does best: writing songs. His latest release, Reggae Film Star (2022) is his 18th full length album, featuring autobiographical vignettes underscored by psychedelia, latin shuffles and driving rock. His music has always been remarkably mature and the years have only deepened the impact of his guitar work, sincerity of his understated voice and his literary lyrical bent. While it’s easy to get swept away by the atmospheric vibe of Jurado’s groove and knowing voice, the mystical content of his most recent albums deserves concentrated attention. Seemingly never one to worry about trends or anything beyond sharing the contents of his heart and head with audiences and listeners, Jurado continues to defy expectations and fly under the mainstream radar. He’s not in it to make it big — which is exactly why he has remained interesting and worth listening to for over 25 years.
Biography by Elizabeth Chorney Booth