ALBUM REVIEW: Tie Goes to the Runner // TGTTR: A Self Titled Collection of Songs


Recommended Tracks:  Pulp, Antlers, Thru
Artists You May Like:  This Wild Life, Super Whatevr, Moose Blood

Doesn’t every band make an album right before hiking the Appalachian Trail?  No?  Just Tie Goes to the Runner?  Okay…

Back in February, the indie-rockers released their third album, TGTTR:  A Self Titled Collection of Songs.  Just as the album was coming out, the band’s lead singer and lead guitarist were gearing up to hike the Appalachian Trail, so they never really got to promote the album.  Now, the guys are back from the hike and are ready to properly share this project with the world.  It may be a while before we get to hear about the hiking experience, but for now, we will have some insight on what it is like to prepare for the 2,200-mile expedition, as the album “contains references to [the singer’s] emotions leading up to embarking this six month thru-hike.”

The album begins with the tracks, “Pulp” and “Companion,” which are mellow, but fervent all at the same time.  For instance, “Pulp,” has a “wandering” kind of vibe with a slow tempo in the beginning, but then the band comes in and the tempo picks up.  We also start having these moments where the track alternates between quiet and calm and noisy and loud, adding some depth and dimension to the narrative.  CJ’s strained vocals are perfect and are even more pronounced on “Companion,” where we hear him yearn for an elusive mate.

The middle of the album has a darker vibe, almost like we are about to enter a desolate, haunted area in a forest.  The titles of the tracks that we hear in this section, such as “Antlers” and “Wolf,” further instill this visual.  The former is not a ballad, exactly, but has ballad-like tendencies.  It is one of the more revealing and vulnerable tracks.  The latter track, “Wolf,” has a kinetic piano and guitar feature towards the end, propelling us forward to the next track.

A standout on the album is the track, “Mitigation.”  The beginning is a little creepy, as we hear a lilting piano motif that plays over and over.  The track continues to build before everything starts to drop out.  Suddenly, the drums and piano come back in and introduce us to a sinister-sounding choir singing a chant.  There is so much imagery that pops into my head when I hear this track, but I always seem to picture someone jogging through mud, trying to escape from something, before making it out of the mud and continuing to run for their life.

After the instrumental, “Northbound,” the album closes with “Thru.”  This track is a little sunnier, as we hear bright-sounding guitar riffs in the beginning.  We feel this need to be free, to venture out, which is reflected in the last line, “the mountains are calling me and I must go.”  The Appalachian Trail awaits!

Overall, this is an emotional album, as each track makes you reflect or makes you feel sentimental.  These are definitely emotions that one would feel if they were about to do something life-changing or are in the midst of doing something life-changing, which makes sense based on the looming adventure that CJ was about to take.  Fans of Tie Goes to the Runner’s previous work will surely enjoy the album, as the band mentioned that this “is an enhancement of everything we loved about the previous two albums.”  This is also the reason as to why they decided to make the album self-titled.

You can stream, TGTTR:  A Self Titled Collection of Songs, on sites like Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep up with Tie Goes to the Runner:  Twitter // Instagram // Facebook // Website

Christine Sloman
Christine Sloman
Writer for Melodic Mag since 2018. Music lover since always.

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