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Rehearsals for Departure

Damien Jurado

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Album Review

In the rush to embrace the latest next-big-things, it's artists like Damien Jurado who much too often get lost in the shuffle. Once upon a time, a singer/songwriter of Jurado's depth and grace would have been anointed "the new Dylan," but today he's lucky if his brand of darkly beautiful folk-pop gets noticed at all. Rehearsals for Departure, Jurado's second full-length effort for Sub Pop, deserves a much better fate. A gifted lyricist with a comparable knack for melody, his songs are simple but remarkably affecting, with an uncanny knack for unlocking the deeper meaning in the mundane details of everyday life. Highlights like the opening "Ohio" and "Letters and Drawings" are evocative portraits of urban malaise, while the rollicking "Honey Baby" sounds like nothing so much as a long-lost honky tonk classic.

Biography

Born: Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Urban folk singer/songwriter Damien Jurado quietly built up one of the strongest catalogs on the indie scene, earning high critical praise yet somehow never quite getting his proper due. Nick Drake had a definite impact on much of his work, but Jurado modeled his career on more idiosyncratic, unpredictable figures like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, and Randy Newman — songwriters who followed their own muse wherever it took them, whether fans and critics enjoyed it or not. His independence...
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