JT Daly – Memory

JT Daly – Memory

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Once you hear it, you know it. There’s no mistaking a Paper Route song once it comes on — each track inhabiting the same ethos as the one that came before it. From the Nashville band’s early EPs to its most recent label release Absence, every Paper Route song yields intense emotion and vulnerability set to inventive dance rock hooks. It’s no surprise, then, as the impassioned center of the band that J.T. Daly’s solo debut strikes the same resonant chord as a proper PR release.

Memory is Daly’s debut album and it serves as a precedent of Paper Route’s forthcoming The Peace of Wild Things. Given the time taken by the trio to curate their next batch of songs, this spring yields a surprising harvest for PR fans and Memory pleases as the captivating forerunner. But this album also holds an identity of its own, a uniquely personal expression that also holds it at arm’s length from the Paper Route canon.

“Things Will Never Be The Same” opens Memory with an atmospheric lament that relies on fuzzy guitar work and affecting swirls. The end result is somehow aggressive yet romantic, and it’s Daly’s most confident turn as a vocalist to date. The title track unveils more of Daly’s heart with lines like “I want you to wait for me/How long can you wait for me?” set to an infectious dance pop rhythm.

As personal as Daly becomes throughout Memory, perhaps no single song showcases this aspect like “Youth,” the album’s centerpiece. Its four minutes slowly shift through a densely layered sonic fog before finding light near the end, and its heavy feel perfectly matches Daly’s lyrics: “Sleep/To escape/It numbs the pain… Was it me, or was it you/I grew old when you stole my youth”.

While the entire album is a compelling listen from beginning to end, specific highlights include “You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine,” which conjures Stars of Track and Field, and “No Other,” which lyrically paints the tension of human relationships like few tracks can. The latter encapsulates love’s inherent tension of joy and pain with beautiful lines like, “Nothing is the same/Time will just erase/The best and the worst of both of us/All that I could give is never enough”.

Passionate and poignant, Daly’s solo debut is everything Paper Route fans would expect from the front man. It’s a mature, honest release that whets the palette for more.


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