Brad Rude wrote his first song at twelve and hasn't stopped. Now at twenty-four and with some experience playing in bands as well as in getting a formal education Rude released My Summer Dream under the moniker Shepard Tone.
The five-song EP is a wonderfully pop oriented album that embraces folk and rock. The EP embraces Beach Boys style vocal harmonies as well as indie rock inspired song writing not too far from a band like Death Cab for Cutie. Take for instance the opener “A Piece of Home” which starts with vocal harmonies that are quite gorgeous before going into an infectious verse. The song is heartfelt, warm and has a bit of a ’50s pop feel to it. I found myself tapping my foot and humming the melody in no time at all.
Up next is “Fuzzy Teeth.” It starts with strummed acoustic guitar and piano but it’s the vocals that won me over. I loved the subtle harmonies and again it had a ’50s pop feel to the vocals. As the song progresses it picks up with percussion, additional guitars and is smooth on the ears.
“All as One” is another success. I was reminded of Vampire Weekend on this song. The drum work is exceptional on this song and I thought the snare fills were really well done. That being said the instrumentation is simply fantastic all around. The vibe is very celebratory and those horns towards the end made my week.
“Until I'm Through” beams with positive energy. It starts off with loose instrumentation with vocals almost feeling a cappella. When the instrumentation does come in you will want to smile. Rude sings, “In this world I’ll find you and I know it takes some time.”
The EP ends with “Sunset Lover” which felt like a fitting closer. The song is warm, nostalgic and ends in a pretty epic fashion that feels celebratory.
This is an exceptional debut. Every song cracks and Rude is an all around talent. Highly recommended.
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