Every so often, great songwriters will take a leap of faith, allowing the songs themselves to steer the ship. When longtime Americana-leaning artist Treva Blomquist started recording her new album Snakes & Saints, she learned firsthand the scary-but-rewarding process of letting go and giving the songs what they deserve—and the result is stunning. Available everywhere on July 31st, Snakes & Saints finds Blomquist, along with producers Nathan Johnson and J. Brandon Owens (ENJOYER), departing from her more traditional sound and exploring a musical world more akin to indie-pop, complete with lo-fi drum loops and polyphonic synth soundscapes; different, but never distracting from Blomquist’s heartfelt delivery of ten new original songs. Last week American Songwriter premiered “The Light” calling it, “A slice of calm for the world and offers a peek at what’s to come from Snakes & Saints.” “The Light” can be heard here and Snakes & Saints can be pre-ordered at trevamusic.com.
In writing Snakes & Saints, well before entering the studio with Johnson and Owens, Blomquist was already onto something unique and inventive in her songwriting approach. “This is the first album where I had the title before the songs,” Blomquist reflects. “I went a new direction intentionally and wanted to express the unique relationship of light and dark within us. We always have a choice. We get to decide who we want to be, and what we want to hold onto.” Blomquist’s choices and decisions are evident in songs like “Sorry,” a song that ended up reflecting on past relationships and taking precious things for granted. “This song is a chance to say ‘I’m sorry’ to people I’ve not loved as well as I could have,” says Blomquist. Some of the predetermined titles on Snakes & Saints led to less obvious roads in the finished song, “Secret” is the first of which on the album. “So many times I feel as if I am missing something; as if I need more instructions or I don’t really know what I’m doing so I can’t move forward,” Blomquist describes; as if when she’s feeling that way, she’s only “listening to fear.” “I’ve learned that many times, people fake it until they make it. This song is saying ‘what if the secret is that there isn’t a secret?’”
It’s Blomquist’s way with deep-diving into seemingly commonplace feelings and her knack for helping listeners grasp concepts in a whole new light that will stick with listeners upon hearing Snakes & Saints. Of course, those who have followed her story from the beginning are already aware of the fact that Blomquist writes songs filtered through with honesty and compassion, the concerns and complexities of everyday circumstance, the joys and surprises, and the difficulties and disappointment.
More About Treva Blomquist: Treva Blomquist was a finalist in the first songwriting competition she ever entered—the 2005 Kerrville New Folk Competition—joining the ranks of such distinguished past winners as Lyle Lovett and Shawn Colvin. The following year, she received recognition in the USA Songwriting Competition’s folk category. However, her greatest prize still awaited; the Grand Prize at the RiverBluff Performing Songwriter Competition for her song “I Could Get Used to This,” a track that would later grace her critically acclaimed debut album, Plain Vanilla Me. “These are melodies of depth, and the guitar work is exemplary,” Music Row magazine noted. Americana Tonight called her “An exceptional craftsperson,” while AmericanaUK said the album contained “wonderfully understated guitar playing and a warm, intimate lo-fi production. That combination makes this perfect for a Sunday morning.” The Syndicated RismixLive described her debut as “lyrics painfully confessional and music unadorned and soaring in style more than a little reminiscent of early Joni Mitchell. An unrestrained and starry beautiful listen…an all too infrequent homer for folk purists and ‘new acoustic’ fans alike.” That honesty and integrity became part of a continuing thread common to every one of the albums that followed—As It Should Be (2008), These Fading Things (2011), So We Would Know (2013), The Risk & the Gift (2016), and now, Snakes & Saints.