Max Jury: Less country, more groove
The jury certainly isn't out on this one; with his 2nd album, the American songwriter Max Jury serves up a funky sentence.
What do you do after you release an introspective debut album and follow that up with a long tour that coaxes you out of your den? Max Jury (whose eponymous debut album was hailed by critics and won a Qobuzissime in 2016) chose to embrace the experience of performing live by transforming his music and focusing his attention on the world around him.
With Modern World, The young man from Iowa has put his beloved country music to one side and replaced it with electronic machines that he uses to explore the sounds of the past. This new musical direction at once highlights his obsession with music from before his time (drawing influence from the likes of Randy Newman and Paul McCartney) and his desire to capture a modern sound.
A song like Gone evidences with the utmost elegance Max Jury's skilled dual approach, showcasing his signature vintage sound which is still very much rooted in the present. The producer Robin Hannibal (who has previously worked with Kendrick Lamar, Jessie Ware and Anderson .Paak) joined the singer in the studio to help him achieve this unique atmosphere.
Soul, funk and jazz are also tangible, all softly blended together with the young man’s catchy melodies. His songs often combine danceable rhythms (Crime, Quicksand) with floating melodies (such as Primrose Hill, a beautifully hazy song with a faint touch of country). It’s worth mentioning that Max Jury's androgynous voice is a key ingredient to the meditative feel of the album.
His lyrics evoke the feeling of anxiety that often characterizes his generation, as well as the various strategies he uses to “keep the wolves at bay”. The funky chorus of Modern World is very telling in this respect: “I'm living in the modern world/Jumping over modern hurdles/Drinking every night away/'Till we start again the next day”. This is Max Jury's musical time-travelling in all its splendour.
In 2016, for the release of his first album Max Jury, Qobuz sat down with the young American for an exclusive interview:
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