Matt Bishop’s recommendation: “One of the first seminal moments of my development as a songwriter occurred while watching Damien Jurado on public access television while I was still in high school in suburban Seattle. My parents had just bought basic cable and I was spending a solitary Friday evening flipping through the variety of undiscovered channels when I caught Damien and his guitarist, Eric Fisher, doing an in-studio on UWTV. As I watched his songs unfold for the first time, I was entranced by his ability to use pretty simple chord structures as a foundation to highlight the strength of his melodies and evocative lyricism. I spent the rest of that evening writing and trying to recreate that formula for myself, and a couple days later, I bought Rehearsals for Departure, fell in love song by song, and never looked back as a Damien fan. He’s evolved and experimented since that release—he’s well-known as a prolific writer so he’s had plenty of records since to demonstrate that trajectory—but each album he’s put out has spoken pretty powerfully to me. Perhaps it’s the romanticism of first love, but I’m pretty confident in saying he’s one of the best songwriters of today.”
New to Damien Jurado ? Matt suggests you start here: “His last two albums—Caught in the Trees and Saint Bartlett—are a couple of my favorites, but I’d recommend starting with Rehearsals for Departure, if only to experience how sorrow can be consistently articulated in such different ways. Winning tracks: Ohio, Curbside, Honey Baby, and a number of others.”
MP3: Paperwings by Damien Jurado
About our guest author, Matt Bishop: Matt is the lead singer and guitar player for Hey Marseilles, the Seattle based 7 piece ensemble that has been aptly labeled as the ‘Lil’ Decemberists’ by Seattle Weekly. The band’s 2008 release To Travels & Trunks caught the attention of Sound Magazine as they named them one of the “Top 10 Bands to Watch for 2008.” The band most recently re-mastered and re-released their rookie record, performed at Bumbershoot and landed a spot on the Starbucks Sweethearts compilation. Be sure to check their website for news and tour dates.
MP3: Rio by Hey Marseilles