Posts Tagged ‘Steve Von Till’

Neurot Recordings – 7th August 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Stepping out from the Neurosis fold once more to deliver a fifth solo album since the turn of the millennium, Steve Von Till brings more grizzles bleakness across six lengthy songs. These are still very much songs in the conventional sense, structured, organised, focused, centred around melody and instrument and voice. And as the title suggests, No Wilderness Deep Enough finds Von Till wandering some dark, barren territories.

As is a defining feature of the Neurosis sound, there’s a richly organic feel to the music here. Brooding strings provide the core for the sparse but dark orchestral arrangements which dominate this bleak, acoustic-led album that places Von Till’s grizzled, growling vocals to the fore.

A sparse piano motif – which is almost a direct replication of Glissando’s ‘Floods’ plays out the outro on ‘Dreams of Trees’, the album’s first song, which is a low-key, percussion-free post-rock effort that tugs at emotional levels that have lain dormant for an eternity – or at least since we’ve all been clenched in the spasm of lockdown. It taps into a different and deeper psychological space.

It’s all remarkably low-key, so does actually require some attention to fully absorb, but some quiet time and contemplation soundtracked by No Wilderness Deep Enough makes for a quite moving experience.

Oddly, much of No Wilderness Deep Enough sounds more like I Like Trains fronted by Mark Lanegan, and the dark introspection of single release ‘Indifferent Eyes’ carries the same brooding, mood, and a sense of a cracked emotional state – ground down, world-weary, harrowed, and bereft, embattled, bloodied, but still standing. Von Till conveys all of this with a heavy-timbred creaking sigh, a ravaged, Leonard Cohen growl delivered with magnificent poise. You feel this: every note, every word.

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Steve Von Till reveals his new single and video ‘Indifferent Eyes’ from his forthcoming album, No Wilderness Deep Enough. The record’s six pieces of music shape a hallucinatory landscape of sound that plumbs the depths of the natural world’s mysteries and uncertainties—questions that have vexed humanity since the dawn of time asked anew amidst a backdrop that’s as haunting as it is holistic.

About the track and video Steve remarks "Indifferent Eyes is perhaps the best example of how the process of creating No Wilderness Deep Enough pulled something very different out of me vocally;  something more expressive, more out on a limb and adventurous, and definitely outside my previous comfort zone. I am grateful at this stage in my artistic life to still have opportunities to challenge myself and grow. This past winter, photographer / videographer Bobby Cochran travelled up to our property in North Idaho to shoot this video.  I love any excuse to get outside and stay outside in the winter time.  We hiked, built fires, and shared many hours of great conversation about what is important in this life.  I think that energy comes through in this video albeit in a simple and understated manner."

It’s music to lose yourself in and unlike anything you’ve heard from Von Till. An album that’s devastatingly beautiful and overwhelming in its scope, reminiscent of the tragic ecstasy of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ recent work as well as the borderless ambient music pioneered by Brian Eno, late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s glacial compositions, and the electronic mutations of Coil.

Watch the video for ‘Indifferent Eyes’ here:

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Photo credit: Bobby Cochran

Steve Von Till swan-dives into the darkness of modern life with a sonic document of rural psychedelia that transcends the physical world—towards a greater spiritual acceptance that connects naturalism, spiritualism, and the corporeal form. As uncertainty abounds, Von Till’s forthcoming album No Wilderness Deep Enough and debut book Harvestman: 23 Untitled Poems and Collected Lyrics provide a voice of existential wisdom and experience to offer comfort and perspective in an era of uncharted territory. Today, he’s shared the album’s ethereal second single, “Shadows on the Run” , which you can listen to here:

Von Till’s charted an extraordinary musical path over the last several decades, from his main duties as singer and guitarist of the boundary-breaking Neurosis to the psychedelic music of his Harvestman project and the unique folk songs he’s released under his own name. But No Wilderness Deep Enough is truly like nothing you’ve ever heard from him before—an album that’s devastatingly beautiful and overwhelming in its scope, reminiscent of the tragic ecstasy of Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds’ recent work as well as the borderless ambient music pioneered by Brian Eno, late composer Jóhann Jóhannsson’s glacial compositions, and the electronic mutations of Coil.

The album’s six pieces of music shape a hallucinatory landscape of sound that plumbs the depths of the natural world’s mysteries and uncertainties—questions that have vexed humanity since the dawn of time asked anew amidst a backdrop that’s as haunting as it is holistic. It’s music to lose yourself in.

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Von Till