Album Review: Damien Jurado - "The Horizon Just Laughed"

Album Review: Damien Jurado -

By Ian Bremner / OldRookie.com

Damien Jurado went completely off the grid. He was in the midst of his 50 State Tour, in which he picked a state and played several shows in small towns all across the state. Perhaps it got him in touch with a new state of mind which inspired his new and 13th album, The Horizon Just Laughed. Fresh off a magnificent trilogy of records produced by Richard Swift, Jurado self-produced his latest effort. Like Maraqopa and it’s psychedelia-infused successors, The Horizon Just Laughed started as a dream. Where it differs is the overall tone and sound.

Jurado has always had the knack of infusing names of cities or people into his songs. They provide context and a story-arch for the tune. Oftentimes they are completely made up and yet it doesn’t matter. The listener is right there with Jurado as if it were a real place. After all, Maraqopa is not a real place, but if you listen to Brothers and Sisters of The Eternal Sun enough times, you may beg to disagree.

The setting in the new album is not exactly a physical place, but a look into Damien Jurado’s mind. It is not simply spewing observations or songwriter-y metaphors, but more so conversations with himself. The names he references now are made up TV characters or books in which he is lost in.

The strings, background harmony singers, and subtle guitar strums seem to coincide with the beat of dripping raindrops, making The Horizon Just Laughed a very Northwest record, but also very worldly and universal.