‘Take a step back from all the confusion’ – a resounding and necessary idea, which elevates itself amidst a melodically calming, colourful arrangement, as TJ Doyle‘s brand new EP rolls into view.
An aptly-titled World Of Illusion is the opener, a likeable pop-rock groove with gentle keys and an equally gentle vocal lead of short lines designed to connect with today’s world.
Uncertain in verse, resolving with possibility, the song holds up the overall sentiments of A Different View with natural strength, and proves a total pleasure to ‘take a step back’ with.
More of the same in set-up allows Forgive Me to connect in a similar way. We’re prompted to consider that we all feel hurt, we all cause hurt, sometimes – perhaps we can try to recognise both more equally. Once again, Doyle resolves with subtle brightness, a rising melody, and a heartfelt thread of positivity in the idea of shared forgiveness.
In terms of mood, this entire EP provides a gentle folk-pop lull of organic, live musicianship and gentle contemplation, perfectly built to be the soothing go-to at the end of a hard week.
There are moments of colour, unity, strength, as well as some of struggle, regret, and pain. For the most part though, the former is what’s left lingering when the music ends.
Consider If You Leave, a reality check by all accounts, with a melancholic undertone but reference of memories and possibly brighter tomorrows intertwined more distinctly. A lovely guitar solo lights up this turnaround all the more so.
Organic by nature, somewhat raw in its live-style delivery, A Different View cements the TJ Doyle style of thoughtful songwriting and recognisable performance with ease.
At the penultimate moment, The Watcher (Antaryamin) intrigues, offers a little melodic dissonance as things evolve and grow. The concept is less literal than the opening lyric implies, there’s encouragement to be self-aware, to look inwards and seek answers within oneself. In many ways, this EP in full speaks upon this – the hardships of the world may always exist, but our responses, more often than not, are chosen.
The project’s title-track wraps things up with delicate finger-picking and distant horns, dreamy keys, a nearly whispered vocal, and a call-out for togetherness and a change in perspective. This one feels like perhaps the most impactful song for its openness in presentation and lyric. Beautifully crafted, heartfelt and pure, with a lingering emotional presence that stays with you after listening.
TJ Doyle’s songs have a special way of connecting, and it’s always a pleasure to explore them and to relax as the music rains down.