Clay Hughes – “Quindaro & 5th” – Single Review
What’s not to love about the music of Clay Hughes? I love this guy.
You remember his single/video from last year called “Atmosphere” here at the pages don’t ya? If you don’t for some reason, or you’re not familiar, be sure to click on that link there and have a look/listen to it – it’s a great tune! And you know what? I haven’t worried about Clay Hughes a single day since hearing it. Not just because his laidback vibes relaxed me for the next decade to come (which is still probably true), but because you could easily hear in his songwriting & execution that there was a genuine passion for music in this artist that would lead him to a loyal audience. Whereas more than 85% of the scene will keep me up at night musing about how they’ll find their way to the success their effort deserves – there are rare artists like Clay that you know are going to find their way no matter what they do. Talent & songwriting like this doesn’t go ignored…at the very least, it certainly doesn’t at these pages – this guy’s awesome.
Somewhere in between Jack Johnson and Josh Rouse, you’ll find Clay Hughes existing and thriving. You get that wry wisdom in the sound of Clay’s voice like you would in JJ’s, and much more akin to Rouse, you’ll find that stunning combination of magic that’s formed in the relationship between the character & charm of the music & vocals. Indie-wise, it’s a bit like something you might find on the School Friends album called Coma, which is incidentally another great record full of incredible tunes that hit the high-level of smooth satisfaction that “Quindaro & 5th” provides ya with. There you go, there are your comparisons.
Clay’s played this single brilliantly in my opinion – the more I spun it, the more I loved it – and I STARTED out loving it to begin with, right from that very first spin. Like I feel like I’m genuinely spoiled for choice! What do you choose to talk about as a music-reviewer besides EVERYTHING that’s happening here? Clay’s vocals are golden, his phrasing and the way he weaves his words through the verses is remarkable, the main chorus hooks are as catchy as they are written & performed with bulletproof results – AND…I still haven’t even mentioned my favorite part of this song all-around, which is probably the instrumentation! I mean…don’t get me wrong…we’d be talking slight edge at best, because I really, really do love the chorus of this cut and I think the entire song at-large is wonderfully catchy & uplifting in its colorful sound & vibe – BUT…the way that Clay has got key elements like the trumpets and keys trailing his vocals…I mean c’mon – that’s not just good stuff, that’s GREAT stuff. The keys do a lot to add to the atmosphere filling in with the drums…and I’d never take away from either of the contributions there, because everything here seriously stacks up to a seriously single-worthy tune – but those trumpets…THOSE TRUMPETS…honestly deserve an award for what they lend to “Quindaro & 5th.” While it might not be THE defining hook in the song for many listeners out there, to me, that’s about as golden as golden gets – I’m beyond impressed with just how much the trumpets add to & truly suit this song. The mix is spot-on as well – like if you listen to where the trumpets are placed in the layers of this melody, you’ll hear them get the opportunity to roam and explore this song with tremendous technique and all-out killer musicianship on display, just below the surface of the sunniness shining on “Quindaro & 5th.” Every time Clay delivered this chorus, I swear, the man just got smoother & smoother – I think his vocals are massively appealing to the ears and his tone is right on the money once again – everything about Hughes’ sound & vibe is so welcoming & warm you just wanna turn it up, chill out, and relax. “Quindaro & 5th” is like the best of summertime come early – this song should come with one of those drinks that has one of those tiny little umbrellas in it…it’s like a vacation for the mind, body, & soul – and it’s certainly another solid single from an artist that’s completely turning out to be a master of the craft.
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