Americana Highways brings you this song premiere of Bradford Loomis’ “Treading Water” from his forthcoming album Where the Light Ends due to be released on October 11. The album is Bradford Loomis on vocals and acoustic guitar; Matt Terjeson on bass; Mark Alvis on drums; Natalie Schlabs on backing vocals; Brandon Bee on electric guitar, bass, piano, keys, backing vocals, harmonium, glockenspiel and banjo. We had a chance to chat with Loomis about the song.
AH: What prompted you to write the song? Is there a story behind it?
BL: I don’t know if it’s just a part of getting older, or if my fathers diagnosis of Alzheimer’s a few years back has left a lasting change in me, but I have been thinking about the legacy we leave when we die, a lot. I sat down with a Natalie Schlabs and Brett Thompson and we were discussing grief, the universality of it as something we will all experience eventually, and what it looks like to go through that. So many people don’t know what to say or do when someone they love is going through a time of profound grief or mourning. It’s a subject I think we will all be able to relate to at some point, but we struggle to engage with it. That felt like fertile ground for a song.
AH: Was this a song that came easily to you, or did it take some time to write?
BL: I think all three of us were fairly freshly acquainted with grief at the time we sat down to write it. Sometimes songs just flow out of you quickly; this one sure did.
AH: How has moving to Nashville impacted your music and your songwriting?
BL: In the year before moving to Nashville, I was spending so much time and energy getting to the rest of the country from the Pacific Northwest that I only wrote two songs. In the year AFTER moving to Nashville, I wrote 29. Many of which ended up on this new record. I would say it made a profound difference. It’s been great to be surrounded by incredibly talented people pushing themselves and their crafts to new horizons. It keeps you on the grind, and I love that. It’s so inspiring.
AH: What do you hope listeners take away from having heard this song? How about from having listened to the whole album?
BL: It’s so important to know as you wade through grief that you are not alone. It can feel like a rising tide, but having others with you, knowing that someone else has been there and made it through it, is so important. We’re in this thing together! In regards to the album, I have been so fortunate to be able to meet so many amazing people throughout my travels as a musician. Hearing so many people’s stories has really left a significant mark on me. There is such power in community. When we share our stories, and engage with others in theirs, it really leaves us all in a much better place. There are so many beginnings and endings in this life, and I believe we really are meant to walk through them together.
“Treading Water” with its soaring vocal line “I’m not drowning, my love, I’m treading water” convey the truest emotional side of humanity supported by the best in attenuated stringed instrumentation. Where the Light Ends is going to be the album to put on when you’re looking for some cathartic relief. Preorder here: http://www.bradfordloomis.com while you’re giving it a preview listen right here: