Aching as blessing. Dreaming as living. Change as tenderness. Nature as solace.
These are the themes of Lofty Stills.
The musical project of Seattle-dwelling singer/songwriter Luke Culbertson and friends, Lofty Stills envelopes the listener in lush instrumentation and yearning tenor vocals, with comparisons to contemporaries like Bootstraps, Beach House, Sufjan Stevens, and Ryan Adams.
In October 2015, the single Every Fight was released, with cover art accompaniment by local experimental photographer May Xiong. This dreamy folk endeavor explores the complex relationship we have with ourselves and with each other.
In early 2016, Lofty Stills released the Lofty Stills EP, a 4-track that dives deep into beauty, pain, and loss. The EP provides an effortless fusion of swirling folk stylings, rich country undertones, and dream pop synths, with Culbertson's fragile, rousing voice gluing it all together.
In fall 2017, Lofty Stills released their debut album Refrain. After raising funds via Kickstarter in late 2016, Culbertson and a variety of collaborators, including Jamison Dewlen (Ghost Ship, Pretty Broken Things), Jon Smalt (Devon Gillfillian), and Timothy Andrews (Holden Days), holed up for a week in The Chapel studios in Nashville, TN, with producer Carson Cody and Engineer Josh Niles at the helm. Emerging from a harrowingly fast recording process, the debut full length Lofty Stills album was born, and the result is a stunning and eclectic 10 track journey outlining the struggle of loneliness and wistful longings for a deeper love.
"The reverb-drenched sounds of atmospheric keyboards work so well with pedal steel guitar that it’s weird somebody didn’t think of it until now, or at least nobody’s done it like Lofty Stills, the musical project of Seattle’s Luke Culbertson. His airy falsetto floats over instrumentation that draws as much from dream pop as it does country, a combination that you might not think works until you see it beautifully in action here." - Nerdist (#1 on Bandcamping: the 5 best underground albums of October 2017)
"Lofty Stills reminds us of The Swell Season with bits of Sufjan Stevens, and if these comparisons are not enough for you to listen to their debut album Refrain, we hope Out Of The Sighs will. Gently building, backed up by a soft banjo, a pure folk diamond." - Where The Music Meets
"Culbertson's arrangements are lush without overwhelming [his] delicate emotive tenor; his vocal harmonies doing the majority of the heavy lifting. Lofty Stills' songs arrive and leave in majesty vocal flourishes flooded with raw emotive force and yet there's no doubt Culbertson crafts his songs with meticulous precision. It's production is svelte but not too polished, spotlighting the roots in folk and country over Culbertson's electronic know how...[The Lofty Stills EP} is a stunning collection of songs brimming with beguiling intimacy and winsome sincerity and musicianship." - All Around Sound
"[Every Fight] is a complex, attention-grabbing track [that] provides the electronic drama of a Baths track with more acoustic guitar and strings. Here’s a voice to watch." - Independent Clauses