Jude Moses released their sophomore album, The Beauty, on April 22, 2022 with Four Finger Records. This is the first project of the group since 2019 when they released “Mistaken Hands”.
The album opens with “Kokoro”, a beautiful song that showcases singer and songwriter Stephen William’s wonderful sound. The song opens with some ambient nature sounds and then Williams and the band take us on a rather upbeat journey through the wild as we hear about Nightingales and more. The lyrics almost directly contradict the instrumentals in the second verse. About half-way through “Kokoro”, we take the tempo down for some a capella. The song is also the most popular off the album with more plays than the rest of the songs by a good 1,000.
My favorite off the album, “Isle of Skye”, is the second of six songs on The Beauty. Musically, it’s that same, more upbeat, tempo with slow and extended vocalization. Like the rest of the album, it’s a focus on nature and the things we tend to miss when we’re not paying attention.
With “So Far from Home”, we slow it down a bit. “You will live forever” and it could be about so much. The song is a note to what could be forgotten. “Golden Grass”, the fourth song, is also a slower journey into the wilderness. The entire song focuses on the instrumentals and gentle harmonizing from Jude Moses’ members. With “The Park”, Williams asks if we want to go to the park. It’s a civilized branch of the wilderness where you can just go to enjoy the gentle breeze or the sunshine on your face.
The sixth and final song, “The Multicolored Beast”, is a slow-tempo wonder that pretty much sums up the entire album. “I want to see the beauty of the world with you” Williams sings. The entire album is about focusing on the present, taking notice of what’s around you, and not getting lost in the things that don’t matter.
Jude Moses is comprised of Stephen Williams, Jesse Proctor, Shae Wooten, and Kevin Smith. They each have their own solo endeavors, but come together with their shared passion for attention to detail and craft. For more, follow their socials linked below.
Q&A with Jude Moses
Q: “Isle of Skye” might be my favorite of the album, but can you tell us a bit about what inspired The Beauty?
JUDE MOSES: The Beauty is inspired by the natural beauty of the world and the wonderful people we get to share it with. We get to roam this planet with so many incredible people and creatures and i love how connected we all. There are so many different shades to the world through terrain and vegetation and so many layers of people. It’s so incredible that it’s all hear. I get so pumped just thinking about it!
Q: Can you walk us through your creative process?
JUDE MOSES: So I, Stephen Williams, am the primary songwriter for Jude Moses. I for the most part will write on guitar or piano. Im obsessed with melodies so that is usually the first thing that comes to me. I like finding interesting chords to go underneath my melody and lyrics are usually the last step for me. Harmonies are a big part of Jude Moses so i usually like finding different parts to counteract the melody which is so fun.
Q: Who would you say your biggest influences are?
JUDE MOSES: The kings of harmony, The Beach Boys for sure. Followed by CSN, fleet foxes, and of course midlake. I also listen a wide variety of “world” music. Non American or non English speaking music
Q: What is your personal favorite from the album? Why?
JUDE MOSES: So i have two: “Kokoro” and “Golden Grass”.
“Kokoro” was the birth of the whole record and the inspiration for the overall message of the album. Kokoro is the Japanese word for when your mind, body and soul are all connected. Kind of like how the plants and animals and humans are all connected to this world.
Golden grass was a last minute addition. I always wanted to do an instrumental tune and i love how this one turned out. It’s just filled with hooks and parts and it’s so calming to me.
Q: How did your band members initially come together?
JUDE MOSES: So initially it was me and my brother Andrew Williams. But he went on to pursue a nursing dream. Flying solo for a season i finally partnered with my two good friends Jesse Proctor and Shae Wooten. We all met up in a barn in Seattle to record our first record We Won’t Die. Then about a year after that we brought on our very creative and hysterical friend, Kevin Smith. These fellas are the most creative people i know.
Q: What would you like to tell your fans?
JUDE MOSES: Listen to this album when you’re outside. Cutting the grass, pruning your flowers, or scooping up your dog’s poop. Let the music rekindle the love of nature and this gorgeous planet we all get to share.
Reviewed & Interviewed by Dana L. Sullivan
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