Curt Castle’s years-long relationship came to an end just as the two bands he had spent his life playing with came grinding to a halt. He was left struggling with a question: How do we redefine ourselves when the foundations of our lives disappear?
Without those once integral pieces of his life and his identity, Curt set out to figure out the who that remained within. If I’m Here At All began as he started to reform himself, to reassemble the pieces left behind in the void. An uninhibited examination of his past, of his fears, of his loss and of his hopes for the future, Curt Castle’s debut album is starkly vulnerable and honest, and fundamentally human. To him, that’s the way it has to be, if it’s going to be worth doing at all.
Curt took a trip, driving across the country, his only company the thoughts in his head. These songs materialized out of that time being alone, singing (and sometimes, shouting) thoughts into the air around him. Out on the other side of the country, he recorded the songs with friends, spending the days sharing his songs with them, and the nights recording in their garage studio (Heavy Meadow Studios).
Returning home to Georgia, holding an early, rough and cathartic version of If I’m Here At All, Curt reached out to producer / engineer Drew Vandenberg (of Montreal, Mothers, Kishi Bashi) at Athens, GA recording studio Chase Park Transduction. Together, they crafted a sonic landscape built on dynamic arrangements inspired by Harry Nilsson, soaked in synthetic sound reminiscent of Thomas Dolby's production work, and occasionally interspersed with electric guitarmony. The main engine of the songs though are the emotion of the lyrics and the catchy melodies they ride on.
Those lyrics are woven from the cycles of hope and despair that pass over all of us. “Chances,” the first track on the record, is a piercing look at a relationship on the verge of falling apart. “All the Love in the World” looks at living with grief where each breath feels like an act of survival and triumph. And “Across State Lines (Supernova)” finds cautious hope in a new love.
Now, Curt Castle has built up a high energy live show honed while opening around the country for headliners like GIVERS, Dent May, Roadkill Ghost Choir and many others. There’s a full band bringing the songs to life. In these live environments, If I’m Here At All’s songs about loneliness create an atmosphere of togetherness.