Release Date: Last week. These songs only stay on his MySpace page for two or three weeks at a time.
Rating (Skip, Stream, or Buy): Buy if you could, but it's only available for streaming.
Damien Jurado's latest home recording, "Axes to Switches," is a shining example of the Seattle singer-songwriter's appeal. He's got the ability to take an incredibly simple, two-minute long song--the only instruments are a guitar and some stomping feet--and make it feel heavy with emotion. He pays close attention to the lyrics, matching his instrumentation to the words' meanings. When he sings, "I am just a mountain caught in the reflection of you," his vocals are doubled, giving tangible sound to themes about illusion and mirroring. About halfway through, actual foot-stomping keeps the beat, continuing as the guitar and vocals build to the song's conclusion. Jurado's production is beautiful on "Axes to Switches"; it's clean without sounding too polished, and it's even more impressive to know he recorded this at home, in the course of one week. It makes the potential of Saint Bartlett--a full-length recorded in just one week, with songs written in under six minutes--all the greater.