Seattle’s Jurado is some 20 years into an enigmatic, escalating career in which he’s stayed somehow balanced between alt-folk singer-songwriter and found-sound recording experimentalist.
His twelfth album is the third in the trilogy which began with 2012’s Maraqopa, thematically linked around a man who leaves society, on a quest to find himself, and never goes home. Don’t worry if you don’t know the back-story: Jurado’s hazy, accessible blend of acoustic songs and indefinable psychedelic buzz is as warmly welcoming as it is freshly intoxicating. Produced by Richard Swift in Oregon, Visions is both a gentler Syd Barrett and a trippier David Crosby or Nilsson. A kind of linear road trip soundtrack which takes frequent detours into the subconscious and has no urgency to “arrive” per se, it’s laced with good songs and mesmeric moments like Taqoma, Walrus and AM-AM. You can ride passenger while Jurado croons as coolly as Josh Rouse or Gordon Lightfoot, then realise you’re being sucker-punched with a subtle blast of Grateful Dead acid-rock or echo-laden hauntology; part Spector, part spectral. The miles glide by, and soon you’re losing track of time and space.