SOMEWHERE WITHIN REACH of the Puget Sound's salty breeze, prolific troubadour Damien Jurado recorded a new song, "Diamond Sea," while entangled in his bed sheets. "I just woke up the other morning and had to get it out, so I broke out the recording gear and recorded the song while in bed, still in my pajamas." Such is the life of a man who has released nearly a dozen full-lengths since the late '90s, with his newest, Saint Bartlett, on deck; recording in bed just speaks to his well-established comfort and confidence in his musicianship.
Since audiences won't be gathering in his bedroom anytime soon, it does sound like Saint Bartlett is going to stray from the solemn balladeering Jurado is known for; at least, that's what he has alluded to without divulging too much information.
"I recorded the newest album with Richard Swift and he is incredible. He brought out all sorts of my musical influences that I didn't even know I had, and that haven't been heard in past records; it's very much orchestral pop. And we finished it in a week," says Jurado with cautious enthusiasm. According to him, Saint Bartlett has much more instrumentation than he's used to, even when taking into account 2008's Caught in the Trees, which is arguably his fullest-sounding effort to date.
Jurado has decided to entrust experimental rock band and fellow Seattlites Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground with the tender feat of rendering what he and Swift created in the studio. Jurado mentions that while he is most in favor of the personal freedom and pure spontaneity of a solo set (that never entails the cumbersome penning of a setlist), he welcomes the challenge of disciplining himself enough to mesh with a sizeable backing band that he considers to be a great fit.
But don't go grabbing for the handles just yet—there is no full band tour booked, nor is there an exact date for the new album's release. For now, Jurado promises to play songs that echo the comfort and familiarity of what he has enacted by his lonesome, all this time.