Material: Though he’s clearly influenced by different genres, Max Jury is first and foremost a singer/songwriter who strives to create music whose appeal goes beyond the ear. His earlier work embodies the hallmarks of his Iowa youth, mainly country music, but he toys with combining indie-alternative and soul elements to create this vibe-y Americana indie-pop hybrid.
This artist’s heavily piano-infused tracks are light yet melancholy, which can be heard in his debut album’s lead single “Numb.”
Musicianship: This artist is still learning what works and what doesn’t work for him musically, but he’s not afraid to show multiple facets of himself. Jury uses his soft-yet-powerful vocals to shine above his instrumentation just enough without being overpowering, similar to Augustana, A Great Big World and even Gavin DeGraw. Lyrically, he’s inspired by great songwriters like Bob Dylan and Paul Simon and attempts to embody their styles of writing.
Performance: Max Jury drew a decent-sized audience for his early set at The Hotel Café and focused on not only previewing his upcoming album, but showcasing his past work to those who had not seen him before. Starting with current single “Numb,” Jury was aided by a backing band and vocalists who added to the haunting and gospel-like tone. As great as his backing band was, Jury was almost overpowered by them. Only until he was on his own for the somber lullaby-esque “Great American Novel” was he able to mesmerize the audience with beautiful piano technique and echoing vocals.
Jury traded his piano for a guitar for the last two songs and ended the night with a radio-friendly indie-pop track from his soon-to-be-released debut Beg and Crawl.
Summary: Last year Max Jury performed supporting dates on Lana Del Rey’s tour, so his career has already gained traction. His distinctive country/soul/alternative hybrid makes him well worth a listen and gives this artist a chance to stand out from the crowded and highly competitive singer/songwriter pack.
The Players: Max Jury, vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitar; Stacy Harden, bass; Nolan Bryan, guitar; Aaron Steele, drums; Jessica Childress and Ashleigh Haney, backing vocals.
Photo by Heather Allen
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