It has been more than half a decade since TJ Doyle’s 2009 debut The One True Thing. With a keen eye for societal observation and issue evolution, it is no wonder. These things take time. A lifelong musician, Doyle has always had an appreciation for music in general and is particularly drawn towards artists that break from the mold to offer something unique. With On the Horizon, Doyle has become that which he seeks.
Opening with the heartbreaking Change, listeners are greeted with their first taste of authenticity as Doyle sings about the loss of his brother and the past that led to finding acceptance in the present. Next up is one of my favorites, Cold Rain. Anchored by emotional guitar playing, the seemingly cathartic lyrics such as “…On my own/No place where I’m not alone/I am invisible everywhere/It washes away the dark clouds and the pain, this cold rain…” are simultaneously haunting yet refreshing. Doyle then slows it down for the ballad’esque Rosemary’s Wishes as well as Something for You which is an inspirational and optimistic plea for people to “start living the life that’s deep inside you.”
Approaching the mid-point of On the Horizon, Living in Our Dreams is an uptempo track with a modern country pop feel that leads nicely into Human. An appeal for compassion towards others and an understanding of the basic commonalities of man, Human does a great job of embodying the themes that are prevalent throughout the rest of the album. Everything is a touching ballad about finding true love in another person while Favorite Places is a call to action in favor of environmental causes and protecting the larger planet in the name of preservation. We Are Here is another example of where TJ Doyle shines with this song about rediscovering self through reflection and finding the courage to be who you are meant to be. On the Horizon wraps with its namesake track filled with hopes for peace and unity.
Possessing a style that evokes comparisons to the legendary Neil Young, TJ Doyle has a knack for vocally expressing his concerns for the world, its resources and humanity in general. Utilizing a somewhat unconventional style of song-writing throughout most of On the Horizon’s tracks, Doyle appears far more concerned with storytelling and raising thought provoking questions than he is with creating a sound that fits within the common standards of today’s music industry. Deep but melodic, long but never tedious, On the Horizon ‘s songs are a vocal exercise in honesty. With lyrics that will resonate with listeners of this genre against a backdrop of emotive guitar playing and top notch overall production that gets the most out of every word and note, TJ Doyle’s On the Horizon is a harmonious piece of personal insight worth checking out.
On the Horizon is available April 8th.