Steve Neville Speaks From The Heart With Please Don’t Say A Word

Silence is golden for the Guelph singer-songwriter on his latest personal ballad.

Steve Neville savours the sound of silence with his melancholy new single Please Don’t Say A Word — showcasing today on Tinnitist.

Accompanied by a jangly guitar line reminiscent of R.E.M., the Guelph singer-songwriter’s vulnerable plea is the latest release from his solemn album Off Track, a record that poignantly documents his life-threatening battle with leukemia and leads audiences through his perilous journey to recovery, marked by chemotherapy, stem cell transplant and the uncertainty of the future.

“Throughout the album, there are moments when I slip between states of lucidity — moments where I’m awake and fully aware of my situation and other times when I feel caught between dreams and nightmares about my past, present, and future,” Neville explains.

While the subject matter can seem heavy, the rhythmic composition of the record compliments the sense of hope that arises from such a harrowing experience. As Neville puts it, “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.”

Please Don’t Say A Word focuses on the contemplative nature of life-altering events and the need for companionship through hard times — more specifically, the appreciation of silent company. “When I was going through cancer treatment, it felt burdensome at times to constantly narrate to others what I was going through. Sometimes I didn’t feel like talking and explaining how I felt or how I was coping with everything.”

Neville explains that the high-energy support of friends and family was vital to his recovery, but he also benefited greatly from quieter moments with loved ones. “I did a lot of personal reflection and soul searching during this time, and it helped me deal with a lot of difficult thoughts and feelings concerning my past, present, and future.” Neville has fully recovered after multiple rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant last year from his sister Jacquie.

Originally born in Ottawa, Neville belongs to the Georgian Bay Métis and Environs community, where many of his relatives reside. He studied popular and classical music at the Ottawa Youth Orchestra Academy and the University of Ottawa. Neville formed The Balconies with his sister, and has toured throughout North America, the U.K. and Europe, opening for City & Color, Bad Religion, Sloan, Our Lady Peace, July Talk and more. He now takes his act solo with a renewed sense of life. “The music is dedicated to everyone who has been touched by cancer, be it patients, survivors, friends, family, and health-care providers.”

Check out Please Don’t Say A Word above, sample more from Steve Neville below, and talk to him at his website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok.