A Life Unto Itself ventures into compelling uncharted territory for its maker. Steve Von Till‘s weathered, distinctive voice and sparse acoustic guitar provides a foundation, but a much wider variety of sonic textures are presented here. Bold and ambitious arrangements weave vintage synth, sublime strings, percussion, and electric guitars in and out of these unique and expansive songs as Steve Von Till’s raspy whisper dives deeply inward and speaks genuinely of visions, memories, and self-reflection in a way that feels both seasoned and exposed.
The majority of A Life Unto Itself was captured at Avast! Recording Co. in Seattle under the direction of producer Randall Dunn (Earth, Sunn O))), Wolves In The Throne Room, Marissa Nadler and Rose Windows), with additional recordings handled at Steve Von Till’s own The Crow’s Nest, and the final product was mastered by Jason Ward at Chicago Mastering Service. With guest viola contributions from Eyvind Kang, pedal steel from J. Kardong, and percussion courtesy of Pat Schowe, the album is enshrouded in artwork bearing the recognisable style of Aaron Turner (Sumac, Isis, Old Man Gloom, Hydra Head). All of these factors culminate into a twelve-passage voyage with over forty-five minutes of stirring textures which drill their way immediately to the core of your bones, gnaw your heart’s defense mechanisms to their foundations, and invoke a wellspring of emotions.
The songs are informed by a worldview that attempts to peer beyond the veil of the physical world and recognise the symbols and messages that often go unnoticed. “When you make a big life decision and then you hear a raven’s call out in the sky, it wasn’t chance—it was an affirmation, it was meant for you, even if that might seem ridiculous in a conventional sense,” Von Till offers by way of example. “When you hear a melody and it takes you back a thousand years to a memory you’re not even sure you were a part of. When folklore and history become ways of how you see the world, it allows things to become more mystical and take on deeper meaning. When you’re walking through ordinary, mundane situations, you have this frame of reference that takes on great personal significance beyond surviving the day-to-day: It’s surviving the day-to-day with meaning.”
A Life Unto Itself is a musical awakening, if you allow yourself to fully submit to it, abandoning all preconceptions, the rewards can be magnificent.
1. In Your Wings
2. A Life Unto Itself
3. A Language Of Blood
4. Night Of The Moon
5. Birch Bark Box
6. Chasing Ghosts
7. Known But Not Named
A Life Unto Itself LP is out now via Neurot Recordings. Packages for the digital download, CD, and 12” LP on both black and red vinyl, including t-shirt bundles, are all available.