Posted by: Ryan Allen on September 15, 2008 at 10:00 am

Damien Jurado, Caught In the Trees (Secretly Canadian, 2008)

MP3: “Dimes”

For his eighth album, Seattle’s Damien Juardo has gone from a solo artist to being a band. This is made clear in the “About Me” section of the blog I Am Caught In The Trees which states: “Damien Jurado is a band. This is our blog. Secretly Canadian puts out our songs. We love cooking.” His hauntingly beautiful confessional sound is now rounded out by the addition of band mates Jenna Conrad and Eric Fisher. Interestingly enough they come on board for Jurado’s most lyrically personal record to date. Best known for his largely fictional, yet seemingly personal narrative accounts of love and loss, this time around Jurado’s narratives really are glimpses into his psyche. “The floodgates are open and you’ll see me running back,” he sings on “Dimes.” Alongside a wash of strings, driving snare and lush piano, it seems like he’s talking about his own reluctance to be so personal. Throughout the album Jenna Conrad’s background vocals and harmonies add a beautiful contrast to Jurado’s starkness and when together they sing, “I’ll be sailing on your deep blue eyes,” it’s audible proof that regardless of the vulnerability, he’s clearly no longer sailing alone. — Laura Witkowski

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Posted by: Johnny Loftus on May 28, 2008 at 1:00 pm

Windsor for the Derby, How We Lost (Secretly Canadian, 2008)

Listen: “Hold On”

Giving Up the Ghost, Windsor for the Derby‘s 2005 album, was made with the benefit of having the entire group living in the same spot. Windsor main dudes Dan Matz and Jason McNeeley collaborated in a studio together instead of trading tapes through the mail, and they settled on a full-time rhythm section. The result was an album that sounded more like a band than WFTD had in a while. It’s like that on How We Lost, too, which travels to the legendary melancholy and dramatic, sometimes claustrophobic shimmer of Factory Read more

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