Painting in shades of Ben Frost, Tim Hecker and Bohren & der Club of Gore, Houston ambient artist No Funeral creates a darkly blissful cinematic experience. The project’s debut full-length album, titled Nonexistent, will officially be released tomorrow, April 21, via Bandcamp ( a limited cassette will be available in June through Halfpear Records). Though mostly devoid of lyrics, the record’s sonic narrative follows a character who comes to terms with the self and finds some kind of peace in nihilism.
Svbterranean recently caught up with the mastermind behind No Funeral to give us a track-by-track breakdown of his new release.
This was the first track I wrote that pretty much defined what the album was about. Haine means ‘Hatred’ in French, and as I was writing this track I thought about the story behind the album. A lonely man, hating faith, hating God, finds bliss in Nihilism. It set the tone for the rest of the album.
2. “We’ve Left the Light”
It all started with a piano. I played the main dissonant theme on the piano and the rest simply poured out. I was still experimenting with layering ambient fuzzed tones and figuring out what sounded good. This is the loudest track on the album, mainly because I just recorded layers and layers of sounds in very few takes. I think I spent a lot of time working on the other tracks and this one I just left it as I recorded. There’s a certain rawness on this track that I simply adore.
3. “Forgiveness I”
I thought this wasn’t going to make it to the album, it was the second song I recorded I think. I left it on the record because I wanted something to contrast with We’ve Left the Light, it’s still dark like the rest of the album, but it just feels quiet.
4. “Forgiveness II (featuring Ron Varod)”
The first version of this was just an acoustic guitar with some ambience, I was very inspired by this record Maw by Givan Lotz and wanted something like that in the album. I asked Ron (Zvi, Kayo Dot, Psalm Zero) to help with the vocals. When he sent them back they were so emotional I had to redo the instrumentation from the beginning. I recorded only piano and bass for it and added the texture later on. It was very interesting to rewrite the song having only pure vocals as inspiration. This is my favorite track in the record.
[via Toilet ov Hell]
5. “Melancholy I”
I think this track is a very important one for the story behind it. The deep and distorted bass that happens through the track is very cinematic, in my opinion. This is the point where faith is lost. The angelic choir is buried in this distorted atmosphere and only a man’s vocal is left. As if faith is finally forgotten and he will go on alone but he’s still afraid. I love this track.
6. “The Walls Are Cracked and Water Runs Upon Them In Thin Threads Without Sound, Black and Glistening as Blood”
The name of the track is from a line in the book Anthem by Ayn Rand, a huge inspiration for this record. In the book the word “I” doesn’t exist and people have to only use “We”. There is no individuality. In Nonexistent, religion and faith, usually something that happens collectively, is destroyed and nihilism and individualism is discovered and only then the character in this story finds true happiness.
7. “Last Prayer Before Sunset”
Last Prayer Before Sunset is the happy ending on the album. It’s completely different than the rest of the album, it’s bright and colorful, but there is still plenty of noise on it to make the connection to the other tracks. I remember when I wrote the piano part I thought “Fuck, this is too happy, it will never fit in the album” so I had to just record a bunch of noisy layers to try to mask how happy this song was, I don’t think I succeeded. It’s still too happy…