According to its maker, Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun follows in the footsteps of its predecessor. On 2011’s Maraqopa, singer/songwriter Damien Jurado took on the persona of a man disappeared. Brothers and Sisters, he says, is about a figure who goes out to find himself and never returns. Based on that assessment, and any fleeting familiarity with Jurado’s 12-album back catalog, you can guess that this new record is brimming with moody sonic expanses, big, chest-rattling drums, somber piano melodies, and hauntingly self-reflexive lyrics. In that regard, to talk about standout tracks on a Jurado record is to miss the point entirely. Like his past works, Brothers and Sisters sounds best when listened to in full and left to percolate before a return visit. It’s in that mode that one can note the subtle nuances (like the distantly bellowing echoes on “Silver Donna”) and unpack the words that Jurado weaves together ever so meticulously. “Are you a signal? Where is your station?” he cries out on “Return to Maraqopa,” leaving us to ponder not only whom he’s talking to, but if he’s talking to himself. Or to us. Sure, Brothers may be based on the tale of a fictional man who vanishes into the night, but it’s far more than a concept album, and its stories all leave plenty of room for us to find ourselves in the details.
Brothers and Sisters of the Eternal Sun