Uncertainty abounds, and Steve Von Till's "No Wilderness Deep Enough" provides a voice of existential wisdom and experience to offer comfort and perspective in an era of uncharted territory. 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. Swirling and iridescent blends of ambient, neo-classical and gothic Americana unfold on album opener "Dreams Of Trees", which was released today.
"No Wilderness Deep Enough" arrives alongside Von Till's first published work of original poetry, "Harvestman: 23 Untitled Poems And Collected Lyrics". The book is a collection of new poetry and lyrics from Von Till's solo career over the past 20 years. It's a work of rich text that showcases his deeply felt ruminations on the myriad beginnings and endings of life itself, offering another medium of which to experience his singular artistic perspective.
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.
With a foundation of simple melancholy piano chord progressions that came to fruition during jetlagged nights in his wife's childhood home in Germany, "No Wilderness Deep Enough" was further embellished with mellotron and electronic treatments in Von Till's home studio in North Idaho. Viewing the emerging result as an ambient instrumental album, he consulted friend and engineer Randall Dunn (MARISSA NADLER, EARTH) about adding live cello and french horn and piano in a proper studio. After enlisting Brent Arnold on cello and Aaron Korn on french horn, he challenged Von Till to sing over the music and make it his next solo album — which is exactly what happened, with final work being completed at Tucker Martine's (THE DECEMBERISTS, NEKO CASE) Flora Recording And Playback in Portland.
Lyrically, "No Wilderness Deep Enough" touches on themes essential to living in the world around us, as well as co-existing with ourselves and others. "It's about personal longings and loss, and the loves and insecurities we all feel combined with meditations on humanity as a whole," Von Till explains while discussing his main artistic aims behind the album, as well as his poetic expressions captured in "Harvestman". "I'm exploring the great disconnect: from the natural world, from each other, and ultimately from ourselves — trying to find meaning and depth in re-establishing those connections, to find a resonance in purpose and acknowledging the past while looking towards the future and still being in the moment."
With "No Wilderness Deep Enough" and "Harvestman", Von Till has achieved a sense of mass resonance through his restless artistic exploration — providing art that journeys into the heart of fear and uncertainty in a world where we've often known little else. He swan-dives into the darkness of modern life, with the resulting emergence a sonic document of rural psychedelia that transcends the physical world — towards a greater spiritual acceptance that connects naturalism, spiritualism, and the corporeal form.
"No Wilderness Deep Enough" and "Harvestman: 23 Untitled Poems And Collected Lyrics" arrive on August 7 via Neurot Recordings.
"No Wilderness Deep Enough" track listing:
01. Dreams Of Trees
02. The Old Straight Track
03. Indifferent Eyes
04. Trail The Silent Hours
05. Shadows On The Run
06. Wild Iron