Steve Neville Is Happy To Be Going Home

The Toronto indie-rocker celebrates a hard-fought personal victory on his latest cut.

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Steve Neville chronicles the perseverance of the human spirit on his new single Going Home — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

The song’s cover art faces a freight train head-on — an apt illustration, considering the single arrives ahead of the artist’s raw and vulnerable forthcoming album Off Track, which details his journey surviving cancer. “Off Track documents the trajectory of my illness, from my time in the ICU to being discharged after receiving my stem cell transplant,” Neville explains, adding that the tracks dive deep into his darkest moments while spending five months in hospital during a pandemic, unable to see his infant son at home.

Going Home is a testament to the emotional rollercoaster he felt in physically leaving the hospital and returning home to his partner and son. “For me, my family is most important,” he shares. “But my illness has also reminded me to appreciate every moment in life by being more present, by connecting with nature, by writing music, or whatever. I’m reminded here of a piece of wisdom from Pema Chödrön in When Things Fall Apart, who teaches that we can accept the most challenging things in life as a gift. Going Home is about becoming more aware of what matters and finally following a path that is authentic and fulfilling.”

With its unbridled honesty and laid-bare authenticity, the album delivers an unmissable story of the struggle to success, capturing the ebb and flow that comes with recovery. “Many of the lyrics are about my physical state, and do this often by turning to a central theme on the album,” says Neville. “I compare my body to a broken-down train that has somehow been derailed on the path I thought my life would follow.”

For Neville — though weak and exhausted — the creativity to document his journey only grew stronger. While in hospital, he began penning the songs that would eventually cultivate in Off Track, set for release March 25. “Ultimately, the album is about moving on in life and accepting that maybe there’s something bright and beautiful beyond the horizon of what initially feels like an accursed departure,” he says.

Neville’s solo project comes years after leaving the now-disbanded Canadian rock outfit The Balconies. The former group, co-founded by Neville and his sister Jacquie, had been a mainstay in the country’s indie alternative community for a decade, releasing three albums. Neville would spend five years in hiatus before branching out as a solo musician — and his penchant for songwriting returned during the fight for his life after being diagnosed with leukemia. “I had my acoustic guitar with me as my constant companion and confidant,” Neville says. “Now that these songs are out for others to hear, my goal with this music is to act as a friend for anyone in need, whether they’re sick or otherwise struggling in life and with their mental health.”

Neville enlisted producer Liam Jaeger (The Balconies) to flesh out the recording process of the songs. The pair took an unconventional approach to assemble the project as a way to capture the spirit of Neville being alone in his fight. “We wanted my voice to honestly reflect what it sounded like when I was singing alone in my hospital room,” Neville reveals, explaining the pair began the process by recording Neville’s voice and guitar before adding layers of instrumentation. “We did this by doing remote sessions, which involved me recording my parts in Hamilton while in and out of the hospital, before sending it over to Liam in Toronto to complete the arrangements and instrument performances.”

Check out Going Home above, hear more from Steve Neville below, and make yourself at home at his website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.