Album Preview: On The Horizon by TJ Doyle

by thethreepennyguignol

Some artists exist with pomp and grandeur, requiring a steady stream of fans to carry them to notoriety and beyond. And some artists exist just because they couldn’t imagine their worlds without music, because chronicling the world around them through song just makes sense. TJ Doyle is one of the latter kind.

Living and working on the edge of the Los Angeles National Forest, he’s secluded in a way that allows him to remove the typical human suffering from his music and turn it into something more universal. His lyrics and his sound hark back to the fifties and sixties, when tunes were often bigger than just individual experience and encompassing a broader, more relatable human experience. And that sort of thing is of great interest to me, because I spend so much of my time firmly entrenched in sad little pop songs and not enough time listening to music that steps back and takes on incomparably big ideas. And, with Doyle’s second album On The Horizon out on 8th April next month, what better time to indulge my whimsy for the serious?

On The Horizon is the sort f album that requires you to listen with headphones. Layers of guitar swim into each other, begging to be picked apart just to see how the songs fit together. The lyrics are straightforward, instantly relatable, sprung from years of genuine experience. A lot is owed to Doyle’s own voice, too, a talented and confident tenor that cuts through the layer upon layer in every song to provide something to pull the whole album together. It’s an interesting piece when you take it as a whole, because the songs flow into each other with such ease, one guitar solo leading in to the front half of another ballad, lending the album a crisp, polished feel that doubtless comes down (at least in part) to Doyle’s work with Grammy-award winning sound engineer Tom Weir. Come April 8th, I’ll expect all of you to be stopping by soundcloud to check this one out.