Jude Markey-Smith is a young singer/songwriter hailing from New York who released a DIY EP entitled Celestial Scenes. He veers towards rock/pop with influences that fall as far back as the ’60s. He mentions that Van Morrison and The Beatles are some of his favorite artists and you can hear that in the music.
He explores a number of topics but the most prevalent is romantic love. The way he writes about relationships reminded me much more of the way songwriters from the ’50s and ’60s wrote about relationships. He comes at it from an idealized, classic Elizabethan perspective where the romantic interest is a near flawless creature.
The songwriting is notable throughout with some peaks and valleys along the way. At the end of the day the songs revolve around mostly major and minor chords with a pretty predictable structure. The most important thing moving forward is making sure that he keeps in time. There are moments on this EP where the guitar strumming and beats get noticeably off time.
He opens with “Show Me A Sign.” The guitars are clean, the drums are in the back of the mix and the song is pretty catchy. The song has a sing along quality to it as he sings about yearning for romantic love.
Up next is “No Other” where lyrically you have to compare to “Something” by The Beatles. The song is solid but towards the end the playing gets a little chaotic. A similar vibe and feel is apparent on “Libra Unseen” which is arguably the highlight on the EP.
“Park Avenue Dash” felt a little more contemporary where comparisons to the band The Strokes are justified while “Sweet Surrender” is by far the most melancholy and contemplative song on the EP. “Sweet Surrender” is sparse and a certifed closer that felt appropriate as the last track.
This young artist isn’t breaking barriers or reinventing the wheel at this point but there is a good amount of talent here despite wearing his influences on his sleeve. He needs to continue to discover his own style as he continues to develop. Luckily, time is on his side and his evolution is guaranteed as long as he continues to practice and refine his skills.
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