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. Heâ€™s evolved and experimented since that releaseâ€”heâ€™s well-known as a prolific writer so heâ€™s had plenty of records since to demonstrate that trajectoryâ€”but each album heâ€™s put out has spoken pretty powerfully to me. Perhaps itâ€™s the romanticism of first love, but Iâ€™m pretty confident in saying heâ€™s one of the best songwriters of today.”
New to Damien Jurado ? Matt suggests you start here: “His last two albumsâ€”Caught in the Trees and Saint Bartlettâ€”are a couple of my favorites, but Iâ€™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