Damion Jurrens is not new to the music scene, and his current project The Cowls has only been in existence since 2018.
In that time, he released sixteen tracks over three EPs, the last of which was Shake This. From there he made the leap to recording and releasing his debut album, Certain Calculations, at a deliberately breakneck speed.
Its wry was a take on indie-electro which charmed many, as it invited favourable comparisons with acts like Hot Chip, Beck and LCD Soundsystem. That was then, this is now, and Damion has batted away health problems – and the ongoing climate emergency in his home state of California – to create another cracker of an album.
Should It Feel Like This?
This album is another involved process of discovery and adventure for Jurrens. He radically changed his work ethos and the goals he’d applied to his previous album. Though it shares a similar sonic palette with his debut, here Damion has chosen to take a more experimental, almost ‘seat of his pants’ approach.
‘After the release of Certain Calculations, I decided to revise my methods completely. A whole new workflow and a different approach to songwriting led to a set of relatively spare demos, which were then built up to darker, more complex mixes. I then took those mixes, cut them up, sampled them, reversed them, sifted them through various filters, and turned them into entirely new songs.
I added lots of percussions (there are at least two drum tracks on every song) and emphasised the low end. The result is a re-imagined Cowls aesthetic – and yet all twelve tunes share the same creative vision as the debut album.’
Talking about the duality that underpins single lead Speaking in Tongues, Damion had this to say: “It’s the most buoyant, poppy song on the album. But it’s also a collection of backward samples that sounds super chaotic if you really listen.”
With its hints of early 80s synthpop, primal electro, classic American indie as well the art-rock of Devo, Talking Heads and B-52s, Should It Feel Like This? Layers on the hooks, samples and beats to create 12 sonic blasts of pure musical joy.