South Carolina native Trevor Hall released his new album, In and Through the Body, on Friday. The album is noted for being “a record that invokes self-examination by exploring themes such as struggle, growth, and redemption.”
“For as long as I can remember, my music has been mostly seated in the abstract – woven deeply with the dream-like, esoteric ideals and philosophies that I have spent much of my life studying,” Hall states.
“Rather than focusing on my own human experience, I’ve always tended to point my music outwards, painting sonic landscapes of inner spaces that I longed for, or only experienced for fleeting moments.,” he continues. “I guess I was carrying some belief deep down that the human experience, and all of its emotions, were less valuable or less worthy than these ideals and philosophies I was studying.”
Hall says that a lot of the inspiration behind the album comes from his recent mediations on his human emotions.
“I’ve always written from a place of abstractness and almost dream-like states,” he says. “I guess in my past, I’ve viewed my human emotions as being less worthy or something like that. However, more recently I’ve understood that there is magic in our humanness and that the human and divine go hand in hand. I’ve never written so much about my human emotions before now. Therefore, this album has a totally different feel in content.”
In and Through the Body is produced by Brad Cook (Bon Iver, the War on Drugs, Hiss Golden Messenger.)
“Sonically, I didn’t try to hold anything back,” Hall says. “[Brad] really pushed me to explore every nook and cranny of my imagination. It was an incredible experience. I felt like we did a great job of marrying my love of acoustic music with my love of electronic elements.”
“To be honest, working with Brad was one of the greatest experiences of my life,” he says. “When meeting a producer or another artist to create with, we never know how it is going to go. Sometimes you can create great music together, but it ends there. Sometimes you make a new friend, but the music doesn’t really come through. With Brad, I felt as though I got the best of both worlds. He has become a dear brother of mine and has taught me so so much about music and the creative process. He was truly inspiring to work with. I’m still unpacking all the lessons I learned by being with him. Hopefully this is not the last time we get to work together.”
In July, Hall released the debut single from the record, “My Own.”
‘“My Own” is a song that I’ve had for a while,” he says. “I wrote it a few years ago inspired by a great Indian saint named Sri Sarada Devi. She would speak often of “being one’s very own.” She wasn’t speaking from a place of possession, but rather from a place of intimacy.”
“Her words really touched me,” he explains. “I wanted to write a song about longing for that intimacy and closeness. It was originally recorded in my own studio and then later recorded properly with my band in Ohio. After so many years, I’m so happy that it found its way out into the open.”
Hall also notes that Brett Dennen has been a good friend and inspiration for a long time following their time together with Michael Franti and SOJA on “The Soulshine Tour.”
“After that tour, I always wanted to collaborate with him in some way,” he says. “When “Put Down What You Are Carrying” came through, I knew I wanted him to sing on it. Because of the current situation with Covid-19 and not being able to travel properly, I sent the song to him via e-mail and hesent it back with his vocals. I would’ve loved to have been in the studio with him to watch him record it live, but it wasn’t to me. I’m just grateful that we were able to make it work and get it out there. Brett is an amazing musician … hopefully it won’t be the last time we collaborate.
In and Through the Body follows Hall’s 2018 release The Fruitful Darkness.
“I feel like with The Fruitful Darkness, I was just starting to dip my toes into other sounds and elements,” he says. “With this new record, I feel like I hold nothing back. I just follow the sound and go where it wants me to, not reasoning or thinking too much at all. I just wanted to follow my inspiration fully and not be scared of anything. Consequently, I think there is a lot more joy on this record than past records. That’s a good feeling.”