Elevate Difference

Caught In The Trees

Damien Jurado is no spring chicken. He’s been making music since the mid-nineties and indie fave record label Sub Pop produced his first four solo albums. His time with Sub Pop proved to be a much more musically experimental one compared to his previous tried and true time as a folky balladeer. Jurado united with Indiana-based Secretly Canadian in 2003 for his album Where Shall You Take Me? and returned to his folk sound, a task that he excels at. Caught In The Trees is absolutely, positively no exception to the rule.

Released on last month, Jurado’s Caught In The Trees has the look and feel of his previous releases, but with a little bit more pep and edge. Lyrically, he’s known for his evocative story-telling abilities, but this album acted as a catharsis of sorts for Jurado. He took an entire year to record Caught In The Trees, longer than any previous album.

Collaboration with his friends and band mates, Eric Fisher and Jenna Conrad, is cited as the explanation for the lengthy creative endeavor. The result is a much heartier sound than before, and Fisher and Conrad’s contributions substantially complement Jurado’s foray into more personal territory. He turned inward this time, rather than weaving the usually poetic, yet melancholic yarns of hypothetical characters. He looks to record-making, identity, and pain as fodder for his deep well of dark reflection. It’s undoubtedly upbeat compared to previous productions, but still carries the deeply gloomy substance that we’ve become so accustomed to in his musical explorations. It’s refreshingly cathartic (even as a listener) to get a glimpse into the psyche of Jurado, and this album is an unmistakably fruitful journey.

Written by: Erin K. Murphy, October 17th 2008