After a musical hiatus, Paper Route are back. In comparison to the last full-length the Nashville, Tenn. based band released in 2009, the sound on their latest album, The Peace of Wild Things is more polished, more mature and maybe a little more exposed than before.

The album begins with “Love Letters,” and at first listen, I’m not certain of what’s happening, but one thing’s sure: I’m totally enticed. The subtle introduction of guitar synths make you feel completely suspicious of what comes next, until 13 seconds later, a friendly drum beat make you feel more comfortable about the direction this tune and this album are headed in.

“You and I” deceives you with a soft, gentle intro, but soon enough, you realize this song is anything but soft. The same is true of “Letting You Go” and “Rabbit Holes.” Paper Route use this technique to simply create tension and prepare you for the tougher twist that’s to come. The thick vocals throughout the record are enough to keep you allured, especially in the company of indie-rock riffs. “Calm My Soul” may be the little outlier with its poetic verses and soothing melody. “My mother made me well, my father worked the land. In dust my ribs were formed. And I’ll return again. Calm my soul, calm my soul.” Though the sound is more tranquil compared to the rest of the album, the serene, repetitive tune is precisely what this album needed.

The Peace of Wild Things is definitely different, and brings about a unique vibe that may be completely foreign to some – but that’s only more of a reason to like this album.

Rating: 7/10

Written by Catherine Powell