California (US) artist, TJ Doyle, has just released his latest single, (Let Your Light) Shine, and we here at the Send Me Your Ears studio have taken a few enjoyable listens this morning.
TJ Doyle describes himself as an “American artist with a world view, a love of Earth and a feel for what it takes to care for the planet we are on.” His songs are inspired by nature, and he is a prolific writer.
Shine starts with some gentle, dreamy guitar with piano and some lovely bass work. The song has a 1970s, almost Simon and Garfunkel feel at this point.
Once the vocals come in, we were reminded, just a touch, of Supertramp. There’s a fragility in the voice that is utterly charming and endearing. The voice is thin and reedy which helps it to cut through in the mix perfectly. Every lyric is crystal clear and there’s an endearing and very slight weakness over Doyle’s passaggio that leads into some lovely gentle falsetto notes.
For the most part throughout the track, the drums are simple and serve only to keep the beat. Just occasionally though, the drummer is given a real chance to shine, and shine he does with some spectacular well timed and intricate fills.
As the song progresses we found ourselves singing along with the chorus. It sticks in your head and you feel compelled to join in by the time it comes around again. There’s a beautiful addition of a string section at around 2 minutes 30 that then leads into an instrumental section with a simple acoustic guitar solo sitting over the top of some magnificent instrumentation and some more spectacular drum fills.
Shine has a compelling authenticity to it. Feeling like a slightly folky soft rock song, it has a touch of Matthews Southern Comfort’s version of Woodstock.
From a production perspective, we felt that the kick drum could use a little balancing. A large cut around 45Hz and a large boost around 65-70Hz would help the thump of the drum come through a little better, filling out the low end nicely. There is a peak around 240Hz, particularly in the vocal track which is creating a slightly muddy tone throughout so a cut here would help to reduce that peak. To our ears, a small boost around 3kHz would help with the presence and definition in the track, as would a high shelf boost around 8kHz which would also help with some extra brightness.
For fans of Neil Young, or Crosby Stills and Nash, this is a track that is sure to delight and bring TJ Doyle many new adoring fans.