Justin Veatch, a 17-year-old Yorktown songwriter was found dead in his bedroom early yesterday morning according to The Journal News.Â The article, by TJN’s Brian J. Howard, featured comments from Justin’s father, Jeffrey Veatch:
“It’s just a tragedy for us because we had no clue that anything was going to be wrong with him,” Jeffrey Veatch said from the family’s Central Street home. “He was fine last night, and I saw him working on his homework before bedtime, and he was in a good frame of mind and everything.”
Marina Veatch, Justin’s mom, found him in bed at 6:20 a.m. yesterday.Â There’s no cause of death as of yet, but Justin’s father admitted that drugs were a possibilityâ€”his son had been in rehab for a month last summer, and had been through drug counseling, he said.
Judging by the finely crafted songs on Justin’s MySpace page, he definitely had a talent for songwriting.Â According to TJN, he often recorded songs playing all the instruments himself.Â He played guitar, piano, and keyboards, and was thinking of studying music at the University of Vermont or the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
The songs on his MySpace page are from his band, The Ivoryton Piano Factory.Â I’m not sure whether he played all the instruments here or had other musicians on the tracks (some songs use a real drum kit and bass, so I assume those weren’t solo).Â There are only three songs up on the page at the moment:
“Can’t Afford the Color,” is a somber-sweet piano ballad where he sings about someone looking at a black and white photo with his parents, reminiscing about the love and happiness in their eyes, “even while [they] wait in line for soup.”Â Like all of these songs, it reminds me of a more melancholy Ben Folds with none of the goofiness, and lots of subtle songwriting heart.Â Maybe closer to Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie.
“ESRT Page 14” a patient song that is even more Gibbard-esque, with it’s echoey and layered vocals, and its driving, orchestral feel (though there’s only guitar, piano, and drums).Â “Broken Angel” definitely seems like solo work, by the tin of the drum machine.Â It’s got more pep than the others, but still plenty of underlying sadness.
All this talk of melancholy and sadness doesn’t mean these songs are depressing, but it kind of comes across that way considering the terrible circumstances.Â Justin had a real aptitude for songwriting.Â Regardless of the cause of death, it’s such a shame to see something like this happen.
(All photos from Justin’s MySpace page)