I feel like today was super productive. From waking up and doing a spin class in my basement to replacing a lightbulb in my garage and getting caught up on all of my dishes all after I made dinner– I just feel like I got a lot done and am honestly super tired and exhausted. Even with that exhaustion, I have the want for some new music. Maybe it’s because I’m eager to fill up my new daily playlist with new music to match the new year or maybe it’s just this sudden burst of motivation. Regardless, I dove into my never-ending list of albums to review and landed on Ty Trehern’s ‘Dear Dichotomy’.
The intro track “Inside” instantly caught me and, even though it’s under a minute long, I feel like it absolutely lays the groundwork for what could come with this album. It’s full of heart and interesting instrumentation while Ty’s voice floats over the almost intense beat underneath it. I had never heard of Ty prior to tonight but he has already caught my ear with this quick intro track.
The title track comes after the quick intro but keeps the same beat to where I almost didn’t catch the switch. The beat and instrumentation are oddly electronic but there’s this interesting guitar part on top of that beat that definitely makes this track stand out. Ty’s voice continues to soar over everything else going on during this track with ease. It steals the spotlight from everything else going on but also doesn’t let you ignore what’s going on with everything else. There’s an almost hidden country aspect that, although not a huge fan of country music, has me intrigued and thinking that this could be an element that gets expanded on later on on this album.
“The Air” has a little edge to it that I absolutely can not get enough of. Ty’s voice seems to become a bit more stern while everything else still stays very distinctively “Ty”. There are a few moments in this track that I expected a giant explosion of drums, guitar, and voice but instead just got an explosion of the vocals. This caught me a bit off guard the first time it happened but I can not stress how great this was. Ty keeps you on your toes not only with his influences but also with his song structure. Even as the beat and vibe changed to something a bit more mainstream for “Better off”, I couldn’t help but find myself completely stuck in the palm of Ty’s hand. There’s something just so unique and cool about his music but there’s also something very familiar and mainstream at times. Now, I’m not saying mainstream like I could see myself bopping down the road and having this come over the radio (although I wish it would) but it just has elements that remind me of some of my mainstream guilty pleasures.
Things get a little softer for the aptly named “Sleep”. The almost lullaby styled guitar work had me drifting off before the vocals came in with a smooth and silky sound that made me just lean back and get lost in the music. One of the many things that Ty does so well is emitting an unspoken sense of energy with this recording. Usually, energy comes from pounding drums or screaming vocals (at least that’s how it is for me) but Ty has kept his composure throughout these tracks while still giving me an endless stream of energy that I would love to experience live.
Speaking of energy, the energy that comes off during “The House You Built” is top-notch. This one is an instant favorite track of mine. Although the instrumentation stays steady, you can feel things change in Ty’s voice. They become a bit more aggressive, a bit more in your face, a bit more Blue October in the best way possible. That aggression is instantly replaced by something a bit warmer and comforting in “Run Away”. This heartbreaking song may not have been quite the mood I was looking for tonight due to my already high level of exhaustion but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it. Although still full of energy, the vibe of this song went from power to heartbreak in the blink of an eye.
That heartbreak goes even deeper for “Tell Me”. The whispered vocals of this track are more than enough to make you feel anything and everything. The tender vocal styling matches the stunning word choice in the perfect way. I won’t spoil the lyrics on this track for you but let me just warn you– this song will make you think and probably cry so have those tissues ready!
“Places” is the perfect track to follow “Tell Me”. It almost acts as a redemption song as far as how it makes you feel goes. It’s a triumphant little number while staying quiet and so distinctively Ty. Although Ty has an amazing voice and is a clear genius when it comes to songwriting, his lyrics maybe my favorite part of this album. They are raw, honest, and real in all of the best ways possible. The lyrics of “Places” make this song another instant favorite of mine just because I found myself relating to every single line with a nod while my toe was tapping to the Frank Turner-esque beat.
The final track on this album is “Valediction (An Elegy)”. This closing track brings back the more upbeat and almost mainstream vibe of the first couple of songs while keeping elements from the last few in mind. This is a great final song because it kind of gives you a taste of a little bit of everything heard throughout the journey that is ‘Dear Dichotomy’.
There were ties throughout this album where I had names like Judah & The Lion and Blue October stuck in my head. There were other times when I had a name like Dashboard Confessional and even a little Frank Turner here and there. What I’m trying to say is Ty’s influences are all over the place and he doesn’t try to hide those influences. I may be wrong on the specific names of these influences but the fact is Ty puts all of these sounds together perfectly to create a song that is so distinctively his.
My Favorite Track(s): “The Air”; “The House You Built”; “Places”
For Fans Of: Beautiful Vocals; Honest Lyrics; Unique Blends Of Familiar Sounds
Daydream-ability: 6 out of 10
What My Cats Thought Of It: Both cats slept upstairs waiting for me to come to bed
How Badly I Want To See This Performed Live: 9 out of 10
My Overall Rating: 8 out of 10
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