Damien Jurado Ghost of David

Damien Jurado follows up one of my favourite recent records, last year's Rehearsals For Departure, with a dark, ominous album haunted by ghosts on many levels - not the least of which are the title track, eerie closer "Ghost In the Snow," "Rosewood Casket" and other morosely-themed efforts. Even the production and instrumentation seem like distant memories - what appears to be simple, spare instrumentation of guitar and piano is in fact augmented by underlayers of other instruments, as if a full band had recorded this, then died in the studio, but its haunted performance has bled through onto these tapes. It's not all dark and morbid, but moments of hope are often dashed on the rocks of abandonment and betrayal. It's the dark side of Rehearsals' rock coin, a soundtrack to a lonely night of soulful exploration. (Sub Pop)