Max Jury, the undeniably talented singer songwriter from Iowa, has just released a second EP since his debut in 2012. All I Want: The Sonic Factory Sessions is a gentle collection of tracks, which demonstrates Jury’s delicate voice and evident capability on both guitar and piano. While his music may be lacking in some originality, his talent has captured the hearts of many, including Lana Del Rey, whom he supported on tour, and has provoked his rapid rise to stardom.
Inspired by the likes of Bob Dylan and Gram Parsons, it’s no surprise that Max Jury comes across as an old soul in his music. At only 21 years old, he has a greatly mature take on song writing, as is clear in the opening track, All I Want. Beginning with a simple melody and considered vocal harmonies sung over an old fashioned piano accompaniment, All I Want sounds raw and intimate, but half way through it takes off with a sudden wailing guitar solo. Having picked up its momentum, the song continues to build, but all the while what stands out most on this track are Jury’s charming and tender vocals.
Black Metal was released as the single for this EP and has so far had much success. With a falsetto opening and subtle country style, this track is the antithesis of its titled music subgenre, but does come to develop a faster pace and more dominant percussion near the end. This acceleration certainly works to the songs favour, as at first the chord progression sounds so similar to the Dylan track, Knocking On Heaven’s Door, that it is almost monotonous. While it has so far been a crowd favourite, it seems Max Jury is playing it safe with this release.
Change Your Mind For Me is thankfully an upbeat, piano charged tune, which works well among the more gentle tracks on this EP. The vulnerability in Max Jury’s voice is appealing and makes for a very welcome listen, as does the final tune, Killing Time. Once again gentle and refined, it beautifully exhibits Jury’s vocals and skill on guitar.
It’s difficult to fault Max Jury as a musician. He’s clearly an immensely capable young talent, with a considered approach to guitar and a voice that has earned him high acclaim. He is perhaps so heavily influenced by his older musical idols that his tunes lack originality, however, his music is comforting in its familiarity, and I suspect that with a few more releases under his belt Max Jury will, in time, come to forge his own path.