Review: Ty Knight performs a self-assessment on “Therapy Vs. Theory”

When you think of the word “therapy” what thoughts come into your mind? For many it will be the act of seeking out a psychiatrist and exposing your inner thoughts. For others it can be a certain act that has therapeutic effects such as a good massage. Either way, it is important to have a way to release when things seem to be falling down around you.

Nevada-Mississippi transplant Ty Knight uses his music as an outlet to provide his own therapy. Particularly with his new project “Therapy Vs. Theory” there is a palpable sense of self-awareness. It’s almost as if through the tunes here he just writes an audible diary, full of his flaws, failures and successes alike. When you press play you instantly get Ty in a raw form that is very honest.

I didn’t make any of the songs with the intention of a project it was more like cathartically throwing my emotions into the art. At the same time I was working on the music I was having a lot of conversations with people around me about black mental health, why I love music, how therapeutic the creative process is for me and how I believe we all need some type of therapy. I started to notice how easy it was for other creatives to understand me but for the non creative they always wanted to suggest what they thought I should be doing or argue why I was wrong. So the title Therapy Vs. Theory represents the idea that society is meant to follow the theories of the crowd. – Ty Knight

To paint his picture, Ty Knight starts his project with “Idle Time”. The production here is quite dark, setting the tone for the entire project as its haunting sample progresses. The track acts as a brief introduction to the man who Ty Knight currently is and the things that matter most to him. Placing you into his life through lyricism seems to be the main intent of the intro. “I been down in the dirty just trying to get to the money/I talk to gangsters that serve me, I talk to Christians that love me.” Lines like these makes the song a fine fit to start the 5-track set, though it isn’t the strongest song of the project.

Production transitions with ease seamlessly into the second song, “Cherry Tree”. This one stands out as probably the most catchy song of “Therapy Vs. Theory” in my opinion. It carries a certain sense of loneliness from Ty Knight’s perspective, but he brings that feeling while not seeming to be too sad about this fact. For a song that is not the most positive in subject matter it still manages to carry a vibe that’ll make you rock to it more than anything. A reference to listening to SZA in the hook helps it in my book, because who the hell doesn’t like a good SZA jam session?

Next is “It’s Dark & Hell Hot” which is probably the most high-energy effort of the project. Ty Knight continues his theme of bridging infectious sounds with heavy subject matter. While not necessarily a song rooted in religion, Ty does delve into some of his own bad habits and the need for prayer throughout the song. It’s one of those records that you really have to pay attention yo the lyrics of, or else his message will go completely over your head. I’m a real fan of how this one was crafted from a writing standpoint.

“F.H.Y.F.” follows and in all honesty I think this is my least favorite song of the 5 featured on the EP. While it isn’t a bad song, I feel it lacks the content and introspective elements of some of the others. That being said, this one is probably the most fit for a club setting of anything Ty Knight brings here. There is something about screaming out “fuck how you feel I been feeling myself” that is likely to make a party that much better for you.

The last song on “Therapy Vs. Theory” is “The Loner Theory, Pt. 2”. The title is probably a giveaway in this instance but the song delves into the feelings of being alone and how it affects him, or rather how it doesn’t. Its another clear representation of Ty Knight’s thought process. He would rather live his life in a state of lonesomeness, accompanied with some good weed of course, instead of being involved with everyone’s outside of opinions of how his life should be lived. It’s a song that is equal parts stoner anthem and insightful lyricism.

After spending time listening to “Therapy Vs. Theory” I found it to be the type of project that can be underappreciated a bit if only listened to one time. The delivery Ty Knight uses is very unorthodox as well as the production choices, which to someone unfamiliar to his sound can take some getting used to. Beneath the surface of his sound though is a nack for drawing from his own life and turning it into recordings that have a versatile style in the end. I must also commend him for his sequencing of the EP, as each track flows into the next with precision.

You can sense that Ty Knight really used this album as his own release. With that being said the nature of it all will make it a project that is not necessarily “universal”. Not everyone will enjoy it because not everyone experience the same moods and thought processes as Ty. On a project that is so obviously created for himself first though, I’m not so sure that’s something Ty Knight is particularly concerned with. Still, I would recommend everyone check out what is offered here as it showcases a style you won’t often hear. Ty Knight proves he has some potential.

Follow Ty Knight on Twitter @WhoTyKnight and Instagram @tyknightslaydragons.

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