Recording information: Atomic Sound, USA; Electric Ladyland, USA; Fish Factory, UK; Marathon Studios, UK; Metropolis Studios, UK; Midday Studios, USA; Skyco Studios, USA; Spacebomb Studios, USA; The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Studios, UK; Virtue & Vice Studios, USA.
Photographer: Christophe Rihet.
Soulful young Iowan Max Jury offers up a debut LP that channels his love of '70s Americana and singer/songwriter fare into a retro-minded pop package. After dropping out of Berklee College of Music to pursue a songwriting career in his hometown of Des Moines, Jury landed a management and publishing deal with London-based firm Marathon Artists. With the aim of breaking him in Europe first, Marathon issued the three-song Something in the Air EP which introduced the singer's mix of Gram Parsons-inspired balladry and warm, soulful pop. Having seasoned himself with some well-received European tours and appearances opening for Lana Del Rey, Jury looks to woo Stateside fans with his heartfelt songwriting and rich, dusky tenor. With its brooding minor-key gospel hook, album-opener "Numb" feels like an American cousin to Hozier's 2014 hit "Take Me to Church." Jury dials up the tempo on "Beg & Crawl," a hook-filled slice of jangling guitar pop that lets him flash his chops as a tunesmith. Likewise, the vintage country/R&B hybrid "Ella's Moonshine" hints at the singer's Midwestern roots and offers additional glimpses of his personality. The rustic glimmer of "Dreams" presents another standout as Jury pits a tale of faded romance over a relaxed, uptempo groove. Appointed with lush strings, horns, and a host of backup singers, the songs are well-arranged, impeccably sung, and imbued with a faint country hue. ~ Timothy Monger