Paper Route formed in 2004, after the indie rock band's members, J.T. Daly, Chad Howat, and Gavin McDonald, met at Greenville College. If you have never heard the band, their sound is reminiscent of what would come from mixing Sleeperstar with The Script; an alternative band with good back beats, honest, anthem-esque lyrics, and a truly satisfying final sound. Their songs have been featured in (500) Days of Summer, CSI: NY, One Tree Hill, and World of Jenks. The band did receive some immediate recognition after their first album (Absence-2009), reached number thirteen on the Billboard Heatseekers charts and their initial success after touring with Paramore, Jack's Mannequin, Passion Pit, and Owl City, but during their break between albums, the band seemed to fall into obscurity. They have returned (better than before), three years later, after touring with Mutemath and, currently, Switchfoot, regaining some of that hype which magazines (RELEVANT, Rolling Stone) had first created a few years ago, with their newest album, The Peace of Wild Things (9/11/12).
The band described themselves, in their first EP (Are We All Forgotten-2006) and Absence, as writing their songs to, or about God, attempting to find answers and put their own faith into words; being, possibly, the least religious person I know, hearing that the song, "No Sudden Revelations," is supposed to sound reminiscent of someone getting baptized, starts to set me off the band a bit. The band, and the intricacies of their compositions and honesty of their lyrics, is great, but I did not start to really appreciate the band until they released The Peace of Wild Things.
The album is centralized on the idea that "everyone can relate to hurt" (Daly), but that constant push for hope is the thing that keeps us each moving forward. The members have said that it is the most honest, and unified, album they have created and that, the more personal the lyric, the more universal the sound is. Though the band was prevented from releasing their album as early as they had wished, their first single from the album, "Better Life," was released November 1, 2011, and "Sugar" was released on Valentine's Day (2012). "You and I", my favorite from the album, was released as a single on August 14, only two weeks before the song's music video was released. All of the songs, regardless of personal taste, are great though. "Rabbit Holes" has that hard and haunting rock sound that you just need some nights, while "Letting You Let Go" sounds like an 80's synth-pop song was given an alternative make-over, and it came out great. "Two Hearts" and "Love Letters" may have the most anthem-esque sound and lyrics on the album, while maintaining the synthetic, indie rock sound that the band so adeptly produces. And there is no better song to wrap up this album than "Calm My Soul," sounding just trippy enough to pull you in, and somehow working wonderfully with the rock beats and deep lyrics, showcasing the best of each member's talents in one song.
I'm a sucker for a good voice and beat, and Paper Route offers exactly that. They may also be the only band that can produce an album whose songs all maintain a hopeful, uplifting quality, despite the fact that each song is more morose than the last. I may not be the biggest fan of their previous albums, but this new one has got me hooked, and hoping for more. Buy the album because, regardless of your favored style, you'll find a song that you really like on the album.