After many attempts by my brother, over a period of years, to get me to listen to Damien Jurado, it was not until hearing his 2010 offering Saint Bartlett I finally realised out why he had persisted for so long. Knowing that I’d missed out on a decade of material, I would later spend a small fortune catching up, another one of my economic fails. Maraqopa’s theme is a mixture of light and dark, fragility and endurance, joy and pain, tender and raw. The opening track Nothing Is The News has an airy psych-folk feel with lush arrangements, vocal layers and instrumental textures (no doubt influenced by indie white boy Shins bassist, part-time singer songster come now sought after producer Richard Swift). Life Away From The Garden offers the contrast with a down tempo song about flashbacks to the nuances in a long gone relationship supported by an eerie school choir (which reminds me a tad of SMOG’s eerie use of a school choir on Knock Knock). Damien Jurado is typical of the kind of artist indie white boys with a penchant for the obscure, you want to introduce to your friends a carefully crafted cd/playlist but don’t want acquaintances and the other scum out there listening to/hyping. If you like your American folk music this will knock your socks off but keep it schtum!