No Trail and Other Unholy Paths
Rarely does the word perfect come out of my mouth when describing an album, however I can’t seem to help myself this time. Racking my brain for adjectives to describe No Trail and Other Unholy Paths has continuously led me to the same one; this is a perfect album. Sure the idea of perfection is pretty ridiculous in reality, it doesn’t really exist. So in this sense, it’s all about perspective. This is coming from someone who craves music full of tension, anxiety, unsettling noises, and haunting lyrics. Jaye Jayle is making a career out of checking off all of those boxes.
No Trail is a lesson in how getting mild can be exciting. Sometimes it’s important to restrain yourself and allow for moments to sink in. Starting with the instrumental “No Trail: Path One,” Jayle is letting us no that this album will be doing just that. In fact, when this album is listened to in it’s entirety, it feels like one long moment. “No Trail: Path One” begins with two repeating staccato keyboard melodies that, while they separately feel like happy parts, clash in just the right way to creep you out. That creep factor is magnified once the off-putting cello comes in. This is just the instrumental intro, but it immediately makes you aware of what you are in for.
The three singles released from this album “Ode To Betsy,” “As Soon As Night,” and “Cemetery Rain” are certainly highlights here. All three give us scary vibes from another realm to accompany brooding bass lines from the pits of hell. Specific attention has to be give to the bass tone on “Ode To Betsy,” where the bass entering the song makes the hair on your arms stand up. Throughout the album this tone lingers as a monstrous entity while the riffs being played over the top are absolutely hypnotic.
Vocally, the album is the best of Evan Patterson’s career. It feels like he took some chances on tracks like “Cemetery Rain” where he sings in a higher register. “Marry Us” is another vocal standout where Emma Ruth Rundle joins Patterson for a rushed wedding that, judging by the music alone, has to end bad. The desperation in their voice alone is enough to make you sleep with the lights on. What scenario makes you need to be married in such an urgent fashion? Why does a song about getting married sound like the soundtrack to your death?
I can’t answer every question about what demented part of the universe these tracks come from. I can however, excitedly tell you that this album is a must listen. In many ways, “No Trail and Other Unholy Paths” is what an album is supposed to be. It’s one cohesive piece of art that consistently rips at the same part of your soul until you’re begging for mercy, or depending on what you’re into, begging for more.
Listen to No Trail and Other Unholy Paths below.