Album Review: JT Daly – Memory

By: Cassandra Paiva

Step inside the mind of Paper Route’s JT Daly and pry into all of his personal files; his relationships, his hometown, his childhood, his faith. Do a bit of soul searching and that’s pretty much exactly the message that Daly’s debut solo album Memory conveys.

The album, which Daly states inside the booklet, was made because he “wanted to write an entire album without the possibility of people ever hearing it.” However, he decided to release it because he felt the need to “set some demons free.”

And these demons are expelled as Daly’s inner rhythm and musicality paired with painfully honest and heart felt lyrics. The intimacy of every song is intensified by each growing chord along with the mere fact that he published what was mostly his own personal journal.

“Things Will Never Be The Same” starts the album with bittersweet nostalgia and a tinge of first love. The booming chorus beats as an aching heart with explosive guitar and pounding drums under Daly’s assuring vocals. The same themes of summer and reminiscence carry into “Memory,” a more positive and upbeat perspective of love as Daly croons, “in that moment we know / I’ll never be alone.”

There’s also a very natural feeling that carries all throughout Memory. “Hymn (Lord I Need Time)” tells a story revolving around the Earth and the sun and various creatures sharing the land with him and his love. Tranquil instrumentals flow under cries of “Hallelujah” until it all fades away and the tender soprano of Daly’s friend Abigail Wright shines in “Love from Dust, Blood, and Rust.”

The interesting part of this album that makes it all the more personal, is that Daly pulled upon the people closest to him in his life, by showcasing their talents as well as his own. All of the artwork is by his friends, as well as the execution of the final touches.

Much like personal favorite “Youth” alternates and combines Daly and Wright’s vocals in a symphony-esque tell all reverie, the album follows suite by breezing by like a pleasant daydream. However, “Boys and Girls” breaks the mold by suggesting change and ending with an enjoyably chaotic calamity of jingle jangled instrumentals.

“Oberlin” is a bit harsher and heavier than previous tracks, with a constant clashing symbol sounding begging and pleading for a fresh start. Campfire sounding “You Go Your Way, I’ll Go Mine” plays with the idea of opposites, giving the track a duality of personal strife and inner peace.

Ballad “No Other” slows the pace and lightens the mood by contradicting the feelings of growing up too fast. “Children of God” ends the album on a happier note, with upbeat piano, edgy, dissonant bass that resolves midway, and soothing oohs paired with elegant and effortless guitar strums.

In essence, Memory is Daly’s enlightenment from all of his personal demons. The tender workings of his heart and mind are poured into this album with such craftiness and care. Each song is almost like its own ghost, getting set free to rest in peace and tranquility.

Pre-order Memory now at http://jtdalyart.paperrouteonline.com

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