Damien Jurado is returning today with the announcement of his third album in the past 12 months, The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania. Along with the news of a new album, Jurado is sharing his first foray into label running with the aptly named Maraqopa Records. The first single from Jurado’s new album, “Helena”, is a slightly jaunty folk ballad with all the trappings of a Jurado classic that gets to the heart of the prolific songwriter’s quarter-century of art. “Helena” seems like a piece of ephemera, but the moment is captured so precisely by Jurado, who drills so deeply into the quotidian that he’s able to find the purely affecting humanity in its depths.
Jurado’s new album contains ten intense stories of people determined not to be broken by dire circumstances. The self-produced album is sonically among Damien Jurado’s most exposed, homespun ambiance and inspired by the dry sound of records like Lou Reed’s The Bells and Paul McCartney’s Ram. Jurado creates his own Twilight Zone, “a middle ground between light and shadow”, a dimension of imagination, of half-remembered dreams and people reaching out to cross into that liminal space between heartbreak and wholeness. Jurado knows the territory well and knows the secret words to whisper at the right time.
The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania was self-produced by Jurado and sees him backed by multi-instrumentalist Josh Gordon on bass, guitar, drums, percussion and keys. The Monster Who Hated Pennsylvania will be released on Damien Jurado’s Maraqopa Records on May 14th.