Skip to content

Read Father John Misty’s Incredible Essay About Damien Jurado’s New Album

Damien Jurado 'Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son' Album Announcement

Damien Jurado will return early next year with a brand new album. On January 21, the Seattle-reared singer-songwriter will release Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son, his 11th full-length, through Secretly Canadian. The upcoming effort reunites the tunesmith with producer Richard Swift, who helmed Jurado’s previous LP, 2012’s Maraqopa.

“My last record was based on a dream I had about a guy who disappears,” Jurado says in the above trailer for Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. “He leaves the house with no form of identification or anything and he decides he just wants to disappear. This new record is sort of a sequel to Maraqopa… it is about a guy who disappears on a search, if you will, for himself and never goes home.” 

Influenced by reggae in spirit, and dub music in texture, the 10-track album promises “a universe unto its own, with its own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy,” according to Father John Misty, who has kindly written a lengthy essay about the record. 

“Damien Jurado is every character in every Damien Jurado song,” Misty writes. “He is the gun, the purple anteater, the paper wings, the avalanche, the air show disaster, Ohio, the ghost of his best friend’s wife… You might go as far as to call it a religion, and your religion is a character in his religion.”

For a better idea as to what Father John Misty is talking about, read his entire piece below, where you’ll also find Jurado’s forthcoming tour dates, along with the full track list to Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son. And to catch Jurado and Swift air-drumming in the studio (no joke), be sure to watch the above six-minute teaser, filmed by Dan Huiting.

Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son track list: 

1. “Magic Number”
2. “Silver Timothy” 
3. “Return to Maraqopa” 
4. “Metallic Cloud” 
5. “Jericho Road” 
6. “Silver Donna” 
7. “Silver Malcolm” 
8. “Silver Katherine” 
9. “Silver Joy” 
10. “Suns In Our Mind” 

Damien Jurado tour dates: 

December 1 – Utrecht, Netherlands @ Le Guess Who? 
December 3 – Brussels, Belgium @ Huis 23
December 4 – London, U.K. @ St. Pancras Old Church 
December 5 – Paris, France @ La Loge 
December 6 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Soedra Teatern 
December 8 – Madrid, Spain @ Teatro Del Arte 
December 11 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Red Cinema Sessions @ Roode Bioscoop
January 17 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theater
January 22 – Northampton, MA @ Iron Horse
January 23 – Allston, MA @ Brighton Hall
January 24 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
January 25 – Philadelphia, PA @ Boot and Saddle
January 26 – Washington, D.C. @ DC9
January 28 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Warhol Arts
January 29 – Louisville, KY @ Headliners
January 30 – Madison, WI @ Frequency
January 31 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
February 1 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
February 18 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ De Duif 
February 19 – Gent, Belgium @ Handelsbeurs
February 20 – Hamburg, Germany @ Kampnagel 
February 21 – Copenhagen, Denmark @ Vega 
February 22 – Berlin, Germany @ Heimathafen
February 23 – Cologne, Germany @ Gebaeude 9
February 25 – Munich, Germany @ Milla
February 26 – Ravenna, Italy @ Bronson 
February 27 – Rome, Italy @ Lanifico 159 
February 28 – Milan, Italy @ Bellezza 
March 1 – Zurich, Switzerland @ El Lokal
March 3 – London, U.K. @ Village Underground
March 5 – Dublin, Ireland @ Whelan’s  

Damien is out of his goddamn mind.

This isn’t a recent development, but it’s an important aspect of his work that often goes ignored. In place of this key element is the idea that his music is a sober and in-depth excavation of the American landscape and rural psyche. Well, folks, I’m sorry, but it’s not. In other words: there is no railway station east of Ohio.

Abandoned motels, barren highways, magazine killers, Chevrolets backing out of driveways in the middle of the night, wedding photos, intoxicated hands, bleary-eyed circus clowns, barstool salvation, yeah, yeah, yeah, we get it: “America.” We’d all like to live there, but we don’t. No one does. We’re stuck with Jamba Juice and the internet, occasionally a charming, aesthetically pleasing dilapidated monument of the pre-Air Conditioned Nightmare on the side of the road. For a minute we can marvel and say “Wow, there’s nothing out here!” Nothing except a huge fucking interstate freeway and a massive telecommunication network on which we can Instagram bucolic isolation.

Out there is nowhere, but inside is endless.

You know what else they have a lot of in “America”? Religion. Don’t leave out that old-time relijun or your souffle of polite, revisionist, fantasy America is going to fall flat at the foot of the Cross. When “folk” comes up in their iTunes genre column, them lily-white champions of gravel-voiced, hard-won-wisdom-shilling, Millennial old-timin’™ expect some goddamn symbolic imagery, man! Not actual faith per se, I mean, c’mon now, what are you: fucking insane?

Damien Jurado is every character in every Damien Jurado song. He is the gun, the purple anteater, the paper wings, the avalanche, the air show disaster, Ohio, the ghost of his best friend’s wife. It is a universe unto its own, with its own symbolism, creation myth, and liturgy. You might go as far as to call it a religion, and your religion is a character in his religion.  

Level with me. You’re reading this because of Damien Jurado’s new album, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Son (produced by Richard Swift). You are a progressive minded, left-leaning person who in parlor-style conversation regarding the globo-political ramifications of Sky Person relationships laughs knowingly so as not to be judgmental and very reasonably concedes “Well, I don’t believe He’s some old man with a beard sitting up in the clouds” at which point everyone agrees on [insert benign middle-ground] and moves on.  

Consider this: What if the only way to understand a religion is to create your own?

Who is this Silver community? Where the hell are they in the Bible? Is this heresy? Agnostic reference? Isn’t this sun business a little, I don’t know, animistic? Pagan? Go ahead and answer that question for yourself. I’ll give you a second.

Do you understand the music any better? 

Faith is like theater: it isn’t meant to be read, or analyzed it is meant to be performed and inhabited. Upon being asked if he believed in Gawd or not, Norman Mailer replied, “Sure, why don’t you and make him better?”

You know that adage we all use so we have something to say while we shrug our shoulders? “People change”? That one. Is that applicable to Jesus Christ? Maybe he’s been on a personal journey of discovery since he ascended. He went through the 60’s, 70’s, he turned on, tuned out, got disillusioned. Why can’t we talk about that Jesus? Does it have to be the old-timey one all the time? American folk Jesus, ugh. The one who’s always winning Best Soundtrack Oscars for people. Rarely do stories of faith make us identify with Jesus. It’s Abraham, Satan, Silver Timothy, Salome, Dr. J, Saul of Tarsus; divinely imperfect brothers and sisters who give Gawd something to do.  

Damien Jurado made up his own Jesus because a Damien Jurado album needs a beautiful Jesus. Some freaky space Jesus that I don’t recognize. The name is the same, a lot of the imagery is the same, but he’s reborn. Born again, I mean. Yeah, as if Jesus got born again. That’s what this album sounds like.

Jesus is out of his goddamn mind, and I want to live in Damien’s America.

Sign me up.

— Father John Misty; 09-20-2013