Damien Jurado - Waters Ave. S
A veteran of the DIY punk and hardcore scenes, Jurado had begun taking steps into the world of lo-fi home recording. But with renowned indie rock producer Steve Fisk acting as producer, Waters Ave S introduced Jurado to the independent music world, presenting a set of 13 songs that encompass odes to remote desert outposts, late-night conversations with Elvis, a purple anteater, and the great beyond. Though new to the studio, Jurado’s storytelling lens is well honed; these compositions are filled with characters wandering the psychic wilderness, flawed but nonetheless certain of themselves, or at least certain enough.
Those only familiar with Jurado’s ambient-tinged folk or AM gold psychedelia will find the album more punky than expected, replete with post-punk basslines, electric guitars, and a youthful tenor to Jurado’s voice. But what’s most striking about the record is how fully-formed his world is, especially on songs like the lilting, drum-looped “Angel of May,” the sci-fi “Space Age Mom,” and mournful simplicity of the title track. Jurado was just getting started, but the path he’d follow seems laid out by Waters Ave S. 25 years later, it’s clear that the creative spirit that fuels this idiosyncratic and exuberant record is one that still propels Jurado to this day.
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