Songs of Hope
Timbered Choir EP is a unique collection of songs written by Trent Wagler for, What Would Lloyd Do?, an original play co-written by Ted Swartz and Trent Wagler. Fans of Wagler’s music already know his powerful writing and singing voice from his earlier albums (Adrienna Valentine (2008), Blue Heaven (2006), Journal of a Barefoot Soldier (2005)). Timbered Choir gives Wagler the chance to branch out musically, from a rockin’ gospel choir sound, to Trent’s debut on a eery modal banjo song (Someday I Will Believe), and a completely a capella song that with a deep bluesy edge. With the help of multi-instrumentalist and producer, Jay Lapp, Wagler has always explored the tracks of old Americana images: complete with trains, loves lost, John Henry, etc. In this short album Wagler’s writing is more focused on faith and spirituality, but gives an open invitation for each listener to find what they see in the songs. The song, “I’m Gonna Be Blessed”, begins with, “I wasn’t saved by your blue-eyed Jesus…I took in the Sunday Service of the tallest tree in the farthest woods. I love to hear the singing of the timbered choir. All the leaves in the trees just telling me again, I’m gonna be blessed.” This song, highly inspired by a Wendell Berry poem (Timbered Choir), focuses on spirituality and hope, not on religion.
“The play we wrote was on themes of losing and losing again, and maybe someday, regaining a sense of hope and faith in something after the world you’ve built for yourself seems to be crumbling around you.” Says Wagler. “So, I tried to write songs of hope, but songs that took some serious looks at trials and roadblocks to hope. It’s harder to write hope songs. It’s easy to look at the world and say, “Well, here’s where you’ve got it all wrong.” It’s much more difficult to put something out there with hope written all over it. Because you, yourself, know how easy it is to poke holes in that. There’s no pretense with despair. You’re not trying to put anything to flight with negativity or pessimism, so you can’t be disappointed by it. But when you try to construct a hope. And you’re trying to float that hope up into the sky and say, “look here, it’s hope!” People are going to come by and shoot it down pretty quick. So, yeah, it’s harder to write hope songs. I start the album with the line, “I’ve got a hope that never fails me.” Get the snipers ready!”