Album Summary: "Almost Alive" began as an experiment in minimalism. The music on Jav Rivera's previous album "3" (which was released under the name Tino Ghost), was composed using several musical layers. For his follow up, Jav wanted a more stripped down style. His first written piece was "Before" and included only a guitar and voice. It was this track that inspired the album's original title "Almost Live". After writing more music, however, the minimalist approach became a hindering experience. He later decided to allow himself the right to include layers with certain limitations. For this reason, as well as the themes throughout the songs' lyrics, the album's title was then changed to the more appropriate "Almost Alive". With his first three albums, Jav established his unique blend of psychedelia and folk-rock. Like fusing José González with Pink Floyd, Jav combines heartfelt folk with experimental production. Using echoic guitars, delicate pianos, calming vocals, and unusual arrangements, Almost Alive maintains the ethereal sound of which Jav has made his reputation, as well as further exploration of a song's structure and emotional heart. The album's themes focus on Jav's personal experience with death, seclusion, depression, and a general reevaluation of life. Album History: The origin of "Almost Alive" dates back to early 2011. Immediately after completing the mixing of his third album, Jav began to write and record new music with one focus: to write songs using only one instrument and one voice. The first track he wrote was "Before," a song that would shape the style of writing for the entire album. Before the song was written, however, Jav was unsure of the future of his music. He had grown tired of the multi-layered arrangements in which he had experimented for his previous album. It was a challenging experience after having used so many layers in the previous album, but Jav was determined to strip down his songs to the basics. Most of the tracks were written in the vein of "one instrument, one voice" but by the time the album began to take shape, Jav started to feel limited. He has always written music using instincts more than technicality. He felt that some of the songs required more embellishments and allowed himself to add layers where needed. And though he deviated from his original concept, the album maintains a somewhat stripped down sound without feeling neither overproduced nor empty. It is this sound that Jav feels he had been gravitating towards. His first album, "From The Ground," Jav's music had a very raw and very empty style. "3" in comparison sounds highly produced and full. For "Almost Alive" Jav wanted something in between. Ironically, his second album, "Until Autumn." was more reminiscent to the sound he wanted. Where "Almost Alive" differs, however, is Jav's voice and confidence. By this time in his musical career, Jav had outgrown his timidity and had begun to understand the possibilities of his vocal range. The album includes some of his best vocal work as well as use of harmonies. The songs, too, have certain self-assuredness. They may not be technically proficient, but the individual tracks take advantage of the art of mistake and in that sense have a mastery of their own. Written mostly during his stint in Los Angeles, the album focuses on his lifelong battle with depression. In a recent interview, Jav stressed his fear of the response his family and friends may have towards the dark nature of the lyrics. He also stated that the lyrics were written to feel like an open wound, and is adamant that this was necessary in order for the album to maintain it's authenticity. The album had been recorded and mixed by late 2011 and was due for release in 2012 but was postponed due to financial issues. The album sat waiting for completion for several months. During this time, Jav had written newer tracks meant for a future album, but eventually some had made their way into 'Almost Alive'. Having missed his original projected release date (April 2012) and feeling no rush to release the album, Jav removed the weaker tracks and replaced them with the newer songs. Months later, feeling the need for inspiration, Jav put together 28 tracks that included music from previously released albums, as well as unreleased demos and outtakes for a compilation album entitled 'Trading Noise For Attention'. The double album was released in December 2012 and made available as a free download through NoiseTrade's website. The compilation album proved to be the push Jav needed to get back on track. In late April of 2013, Jav began to go over the mixes for 'Almost Alive,' making minor changes. When he noticed the previous mix date, it had been exactly a year later, to the day. With that, Jav concluded that the album was truly ready for release and decided on a new release date: November 12, 2013. Though his financial situation had barely improved, he decided that he would find a means to make this release date a reality. Over two years after writing "Before" the album has finally been released. In the words of the artist, "Almost Alive" is a collection of his best work yet. And for an artist whose standard response is self-deprecating, his words stand strong. Similar Artists: José González, Neil Finn, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Wilco, Coldplay, Crowded House, Trashcan Sinatras, Freedy Johnston, Suzanne Vega, The Jayhawks, Jason Falkner, Sufjan Stevens, and Andrew Bird Album Credits: Produced, written, and performed by Jav Rivera Recorded and mixed by Jacob Singer at 2nd Floor Basement Mastered by Jeff Root at The Root Cellar.