TJ Doyle is a singer-songwriter from California whose focus in life and music is nature and the human experience. On hissophomore album “On the Horizon,” these themes come to life as he explores their deeper meaning, creating a unique and compelling collection of songs.
Doyle’s music would be best classified as folk rock, reminiscent of artists like Neil Young and comparable to contemporaries like O.A.R. and U2.I enjoyed listening to this album beginning to end without stopping because it tells a story musically, like a good book you don’t want to put down. One song flows seamlessly into the next with its mellow but full melodies and Doyle’s unique, made-for-indie-rock vocals.
One of my favorite tracks is “Everything,” which is a slower-paced song about unconditional love. This song fills out as it reaches the chorus with harmonies and guitar, but its beauty lies in its ease, bringing into focus the line, “what I really love are the simple things.”
To me, what makes Doyle’s music so unique is his ability to pair a voice cut out for rock with the ease and modesty of a laid back, folksy/indie sound—an art that seems to be lost today. His voice is unlike most artists’ as it is smooth but just edgy enough to fully bring the folk rock sound to life.
Musically, this artist does a remarkable job of knowing just how much to do without going overboard, like in his slow electric guitar parts and solos. He uses instruments to enhance his songs and give them a richer sound, rather than crowd or complicate them. In songs like “On the Horizon,” he lets the music speak for itself, beginning with electric and slowly building with guitar and vocals to the end. This is the perfect song to end the album as it focuses on the cycle of life and the common experience between different people around the world.
I thoroughly enjoyed “On the Horizon” and the way TJ Doyle is able to create the balance of an album rich with all of the best elements of folk rock, including great guitar and vocals, without becoming too complex, and dwelling in a simplicity all his own. This is an album I would listen to again and again, and know I’d pick up on something new and unique each time.