Snakes & Saints: What We Decide to Carry and Hold Onto

“We live in a world of snakes and saints.  It’s hard to tell the difference these days” sings Treva Blomquist on a brand new song called “Strong”.  The singer-songwriter hails from Nashville TN and just released an album called Snakes & Saints.  “Navigating life in this world is not easy,” says Treva. “At the end of the day, the only thing I have control over is my own actions. Who will I choose to be? What are the ideas I will let carry and guide me? Will my voice and actions match my heart? I hope so.”

“I wanted to write about the relationship between light and dark. We always have a choice. So much of life is about who we chose to be and what we decide to carry and hold on to,” says Treva.

Growing up, Treva Blomquist took piano, flute & voice lessons, she sang in both her church and high school choir. Her inspirations were Amy Grant, Jewel, and Jennifer Knapp. Her heart and passion were devoted to music. Years later, Treva is on music row, recording, playing, and writing. Blomquist’s latest release, Snakes & Saints, is the first album where she had the title before she had the songs.

(Live Performance) photo by Dan Wiley.

In her 14 year-professional careers, Treva, lets the music be her muse and isn’t confined to a genre or a popular movement, she is the vehicle for the song. Snakes & Saints, transitions from an Americana sound directly to pop.

“This new sound is just what came out. Brandon Owens & Nathan Johnson & I gathered to play some songs and hang out,” says Treva. “I’d play them a song, and then we’d start putting sounds on it. It was so fun, and Nathan & Brandon have such unique ideas and sonic taste. I realized it was a new direction.”

 -But

“If music is art, I’d like to paint with all the colors and shades available to me.”

Photo by by Seiji Inouye.

 Snakes & Saints recorded at the Silent Planet, a home studio owned by J. Brandon Owens (Elenowen, Enjoyer). Brandon invited his friend, Nathan Johnson (Meaning Machine, Enjoyer), to join.

“Brandon Owens & Nathan Johnson produced this record. They have since started a band called ENJOYER (Check them out!). They brought sonic direction to the project, they have such great ideas and gathered a great team of players,” says Treva. “They are talented and kind and good friends of mine. They also encouraged me, through their excitement and commitment, that these songs matter. ” 

The ENJOYER duo both played in Francesca Battestilli’s live band. And Bradon toured with Bon Iver for a bit.

Two drummers performed on this project; Terence F Clark (Robert Cray, Scott Mulvahill, Gungor) and Nathan Knox.

(Live Performance) photo by Dan Wiley.

These songs are honest, hopeful, angry, apologetic, and encouraging,” says Treva.

The album was mixed by Quinn Redmond (Stephen Day) and mastered by Joe Hutchinson.  

“The importance of self-discovery and finding my identity and worth and then using that to guide me,” says Treva. “I tend to write my heart. I wrote this record during a period of trying to sort out what was good for me and what wasn’t good for me, which can be a confusing road to travel. I found both light and dark in me and around me. And I want to feed the light and good in and around me.”

Photo by by Seiji Inouye.

The writing process is different for Blomquist every time. If she is writing with someone, she starts with a melody or an idea and goes from there. When writing alone, she feels more freedom to chase and follow where the song takes her – but also a big responsibility to edit so that the song’s message is clear.

Releasing Snakes & Saints was very important to Blomquist, “I love the way music can be a soundtrack for our lives helping us to feel, love, cry, celebrate, remember and not feel alone,” she says. “Music can take us back to a moment as few other things can. That is precious to me. I love creating things that could be part of someone’s life and memories and could be something that touched or moved them in a time when they needed it. It’s such an honor and a gift.”  

Photo by by Seiji Inouye. Artwork by Nathan Johnson.

The release date was in May, originally. But the pandemic put a halt to that with the unknowns and the devastation to the music industry. But the work she created finally hit the stage with the hope that it can heal some of us in these uncertain times.

“The hardest thing for me was just that it happened so fast. I have two small kids, so my husband and I got to quickly learn how to balance homeschooling our kids and creating normalcy and routine and security for them, while at the same time juggling our own work and emotions over all of it,” says Treva.

The music landscape and the world as a whole have changed. Like Snakes & Saints, we face snakes and saints all of the time. 

 Treva used the time to slow down.

“While it was hard to be thrust into a new normal, it was also sweet to have more time with my kids. More conversations. More snuggles. More movie nights. I am grateful for my little family,” says Treva.

From one musician to another, Treva’s advice is, “Don’t stop. Also, trust yourself.”

“There is strange timeliness about this album. I don’t understand it, but I feel it and see it. My first single released is called the Light, and it’s about how hard it is to navigate living in a world that’s dark and the importance of us carrying the Light in this world,” says Blomquist. “It released amid another innocent black man being murdered, protests and riots. A time when Light and truth are so important.”

Treva will be Live from home Thursday October 15, 2020.

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