Review: Paper Route – The Peace of Wild Things (2012)by Ryan G on Sep 15, 2012 • 3:09 pm No Comments
JT Daly, Chad Howat, and Gavin McDonald have been through the music industry’s equivalent of hell and back in an effort to release their sophomore record. They made waves a couple years ago with the release of their acclaimed full length debut, Absence. The album landed them on the touring circuit with the likes of Paramore and Owl City, among others. Fans waited anxiously for the release of their sophomore record – perhaps a bit too long, as the band seems to have lost some their momentum (though through no fault of their own). Luckily, The Peace of Wild Things is good enough that the band ought to be able to regain their momentum easily. Via opening a nationwide tour with Switchfoot, the band seems on their way to such a recovery.
Fans got their first taste of the album quite a while ago with the release of single “Better Life”, which sounds the most like it could have fit on Absence. I dare you to listen to this and not get a bit pumped up while listening to the optimistic hook in the chorus. Our second taste of the new record came with the release of single “You and I” which carries a cheerfully tragic vibe. A live show in May of this year convinced me that The Peace of Wild Things would be a stellar record (going beyond the released songs). “Two Hearts” and “Love Letters” have become live staples, both of which I recognized from the May performance in Columbus. Falsetto echoes kick off the former (and the album for the matter) immediately drawing in the listener with soaring verses. Ethereal melodies in “Two Hearts” amid a club ready beat are what accentuates this track.
More emotional, as well as reverent moments permeate the record as well. The long, melancholy “Rabbit Holes” is perhaps a bit too long – really the only misstep of the album, as I wish it were a bit shorter. Just my personal taste, though. “Glass Heart Hymn” has a reverent undertone in parts, albeit in quite a whimsical way (listen to the faint vocal acrobatics in the beginning). “Letting You Let Go” is an anthem of release, and “Calm My Soul” and “Sugar” present some of the, well, calmer moments on the record. “Born in Love” ends the record beautifully, albeit in not quite as epic a fashion as “Dance On Our Graves” did on Absence. It’s a fitting conclusion though, and who says we wanted Paper Route to make the same record again? In summary, The Peace of Wild Things is one of the best releases of 2012; it showcases impeccable musicianship, production, lyricism, and melodies from a DIY band that ought to stand the test of time.