With his debut 5 (six if you count the album only track Sickly Spring) song EP Keep You Company Tucson, Arizona based singer-songwriter Clay Dudash bring forth a refreshing, and hope-fillled misanthrope about his songs. From the opening riff of Shore for Cranes with it’s self-reflective pondering, and celebratory phrasing Dudash is looking at his friends through reality tinted glasses. Whether they be harsh or not his observations are those of any person going through life in their mid twenties, all this and this is just in the opener.
With Freight which for me is a highlight of the album we get a wonderful undertone by a female voice as Dudash continues his reflection now realizing he has to head somewhere which my not be the place he thought it would be…home. Freight is quite possibly the best track on the album.
It’s follow-up Pretty Please makes it own case nonetheless. With it’s plea of “cheer up kid…it’s summer” we hope he’s right the whole time, yet can’t help wishing he weren’t so right about the speed at which those precious moments, those summer days move. After every listen I think this will be the song people go back to. It just has that great wonderment about it, an intangible likability that permeates throughout.
Statues has a precise guitar rhythm, but it’s lyrics lack the power of the previous tracks. Here Dudash plays it more story-teller giving us the story of a boy (or young man) who has only a limited time to live. He better not be a statue and instead live his life, with everyday he grows closer to the inevitable rain…luckily it can’t rain all the time. Still, as the middle track it muddles and doesn’t have the effectiveness of it’s previous or upcoming counterparts.
With Conor Oberst like plucking, strong introspection De Anza gives us a reprieve. More story-teller much the same as the previous track however the hand claps, and tempo change make this one of the most layered, and worthwhile tracks. You can really get into this story of a man who can’t seem to figure out how to be so. A man who instead looks at his childhood fondly, afraid of what is to come. Dudash is subtle as all hell, and catchier then whatever you might think. Try NOT clapping along after a few listenings. It’ll have you thinking about #tbt as if there will never be a better time, and he may be onto something.
The uniqueness of Clay Dudash’s voice is far more prevalent in his closer Sickly Spring. A story of possible missed opportunities. Unfortunately unless you get the record directly from Clay you won’t be able to enjoy this slick little tune. So drop him a line on twitter @ClayDudashMusic and let him know that not only do you want a copy, but that FilmSnobReviews sent you.
Overall Clay Dudash brings a sincerity I find missing quite a bit, this coupled with his relatable lyricism make a deadly combo. When you factor in he’s pinpointed his niche audience it comes as no surprise you could think he’s singing to or even about you. What makes Dudash’s album a pleasant surprise is how well he crafts his stories turning one off phrases into witty prose. One drawback is the lack of truly, truly great choruses. While Freight brings in the handclaps and slight chorus it’s his songs overall catchiness, and not anthemic or memorable chrouses. I trust that will be remedied on his next effort which we look very much forward too.
Have a listen for yourself!