“Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple.” – Woody Guthrie
Those were the words that crossed Trent’s mind as he watched a folk singer perform at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. No fancy lights or production – just microphones and two voices carried out into the crowd.
In a world that celebrates decorative sets, this type of stripped down performance can often get lost among all the noise. Yet there’s something magical about the soft crackle on a vinyl record or the raw vocals in a classic song that cannot be manufactured. It’s this type of “back to the basics” thinking that ignites Trent’s ninth full-length release, Believer. A throwback, of sorts, that strays from the grandiose flash and peels back to the roots.
Believer carries a thread of honesty, with rich stories weaved throughout the record on restoration and relationships. A movement toward simplicity in any terms can be a difficult task, but Trent masters the art well with nine bare bones tracks that speak volumes. The act should come as no surprise, as Trent has always had a unique gift to reinvent his writing with each project. From his solo releases and as one-half of the duo Sugar + The Hi Lows to his versatile co-writes on electro-pop newcomer Young Summer’s album and pop darling Ingrid Michaelson’s record, Trent’s talent spans beyond the ordinary.
Coming off the high of last year’s noteworthy successes – including co-writing the Top 40 hit “Girls Chase Boys” (Ingird Michaelson) – Believer may seem like it strays from the songs Trent has been working on lately. But it’s the rawness and naivety found in Believer that carries into every single one of Trent’s projects. He begins the record with the track “Nature of the Beast,” a song that questions if holding onto the pursuit of something is worth it in the long run and transitions into songs like “Nobody’s Stranger Anymore” that echoes the longing to be known. One of the final tracks, “Here On Earth” was inspired after Trent attended a funeral and listening to a husband say things about his wife that he had never said to her before. He challenges, “Why do we wait? Why don’t we just tell people while they’re here. If life goes by so fast, you should be honest with people and tell them how you feel about them.”
With Believer, Trent paints a brilliant reminder from his own convictions that simplicity doesn’t have to be a negative thing. In fact, it can sound quite beautiful. Maybe he can make a believer out of you, too.