Treva Blomquist treats her listeners to exquisite stories on life and love on her latest release, These Fading Things. The album is a narrative of a life lived in forward motion: moving past a broken relationship (On Your Own), past the wrong side of life (Chasing After You), and into the beauty of letting it all go (Live A Little). Both encouraging and questioning, the songs lend an achingly beautiful balance to the trials and joys of life. Her sweet, mournful voice instills a longing to the words that prove she's taken these lessons to heart, and the honesty and integrity in Treva's songwriting gives it an accessibility few artists can match. Listeners will find themselves spellbound by her tender soprano and heartfelt lyrics.
The album title is taken from Chasing After You, Treva's favorite track on the album: "Can't always tell from the outside, but there's a mess inside of me, rising from the worth I've placed on all these fading things..." She explains: "I was thinking about what drives change - it's often the idea of trying to find something lasting that will bring us happiness. So we chase after things: careers, relationships, love, people, a bigger house, more money, etc. We think that if we can just get them, they will make us better. But in reality, they just get old and fade away. Hence the title of the album - These Fading Things."
For Treva, forward motion took a literal turn two years ago when she and her husband Josh, along with their two dogs Bella and Winston, moved from Nashville, Tennessee to Conway, Arkansas. The pair quickly put down roots and Treva turned to songwriting and touring full time; son Zach arrived soon after and a new chapter began for the family. From a full-time position with the Nashville office of the GRAMMYs to mom and songwriter, Treva has settled into a new groove, echoing the themes found on These Fading Things. "It's all changed for the best, and my priorities have shifted, but it's a new normal, and I absolutely love it… Here in Conway, I've been able to slow down, breathe, live each day and feed my soul."
On These Fading Things, Treva is backed by an impressive list of Nashville musicians, including her band The Suits: Ben Gortmaker on backing vocals, acoustic and electric guitar, Drew Wilson (Space Capone) on bass, Brad Odum on drums and percussion, Hitoshi Yamaguchi on cello and Eric Quarim on keys. The decision to use additional musicians on the record was a mutual one between Treva and her co-producer, 5-time Grammy nominee Erick Jaskowiak (Crooked Still, Alison Brown): "I had a few songs that I had recorded with The Suits that were never officially released, but it wasn't enough to fill out the whole album. So for my newer material, I hired some studio musicians and booked two days at Compass Sound Studios. Erick helped me a lot with selecting musicians for the album." In addition to producing, Jaskowiak also mixed the album and provided backing vocals on Slow It Down.
Compass was the birthplace of 2009s As It Should Be, also recorded with The Suits and produced by Jaskowiak. This time around, some of Nashville's finest studio musicians pitched in, including Drew Wilson (The Suits, Space Capone) on bass, Rob McNelley (Dolly Parton, Lady Antebellum) on electric guitar, Ian Fitchuk (Mindy Smith, Landon Pigg) on drums and percussion, and Jeff Pardo (SONICFLOOd, Matthew West) on hammond B3 and piano. Treva found the process of working with them a breeze: "We laid down the basics for each track and ended up recording a total of 10 songs in those 2 days. It was great working with them - they are really professional, and had great input on each song."
After taking care of the instrumentation, the album still lacked one important detail: Treva's vocals. She decided to go old-school and set up in a friends garage, joined by Gortmaker on acoustic guitar and Yamaguchi on cello to add a few finishing touches. On working with the two, Treva says "I love working with Ben, we have worked together so long that working with him just feels like home… I love the playful cello Hitoshi added to "Live A Little" and the beautiful long lines he added to "You Don't Believe".
Well-crafted lyrics and solid musicianship are the common thread tying together These Fading Things, which ventures farther outside the folk realm than Treva's previous efforts. The album opens with the contemplative You Don't Believe, a beautiful reflection on a failing relationship that features mellow acoustic guitar and muted harmonies from longtime collaborator Ben Gortmaker and sweetly hushed cello by Hitoshi Yamaguchi. By the time track three, So Wrong For You, rolls around, the kid gloves are off. No longer failing, the relationship is flat-out failed and Treva is telling it like it is. Tense guitar lines weave around her alternating whisper and wail, mirroring the anger and sadness found at the end of such journeys. Chasing After You is a haunting reflection on the trials of life with an undercurrent of hope, featuring Treva's sweet-as-honey vocals and mellow instrumentation.
"Overall, I'm just really proud of this CD - I chose these songs carefully and the band performed them beautifully. I'm excited about touring to support it." As Treva's life continues its forward motion, it's clear that her music will continue to evolve and reflect the changes beautifully.
Awards & Accolades:
- Riverbluff Performing Songwriter Grand Prize Winner (2006) for "I Could Get Used To This"
- USA Songwriting Competition Honorable Mention (2006) with "When the Cards Are Yours" (Folk Category)
- Kerrville Folk Festival Finalist (2005)
- Tin Pan South performer (2005)
- Seattle Rockrgrl Music Conference performer (2005)
- 6 Americana Tonight! Appearances