It is a new beginning of sorts as the pop-rock duo Ashland released their three-song EP via Rise Records this past Friday. Let me tell you this, Rise Records have struck untapped gold with the St. Louis duo.
Ashland, who was previously with InVogue Records, is composed of Asia Marie and Aaron Wood. They combine absolutely soulful melodies with little guitar hooks and ambiance that absolutely draws you in like a spiritual experience.
“MISC” starts off with “No Trouble” as Asia Marie croons “I’m so high looking down/Shadows of clouds on the ground/I don’t ever wanna go back to that town”, and Aaron Wood sweeps the listener off of their feet with those harmonics that he hits on the guitar. I immediately notice and become taken aback in the most beautiful way on how raw and emotional that Ashland is in their arrangements. They want you to feel what they’ve been through in this song, which seems to be about moving forward in life.
I cannot accurately describe Asia’s emotions and the range in her vocals, it is something that you will have to experience yourself as you put Ashland on your stereo, especially in “No Trouble”.
“Always Something” showcases wonderful harmonious arrangements, and it showcases Ashland creating a beautiful story in this song about how they’re still here despite feeling at such a low point in their life. The piano arrangements offer that lush backdrop that makes “Always Something” such a gorgeous song to get lost in.
“When You Come Around” is probably the most upbeat song in this EP, which allows the listener to unpack another layer into Ashland, where it showcases their more alternative rock side. There is a maturation in this band through this song that talks about a broken relationship.
Rise Records have absolutely struck gold with this group out of St. Louis. Ashland’s music is not only that band that we’ve been waiting for for it seems like an eternity, but they will stir your soul with the arrangements, melodies, and heartfelt lyrics. If I were to look up “IT Factor” in Webster’s Dictionary, a picture of Ashland would be the first definition. Madness To Creation gives this a 10/10 star rating.
Here is the track listing:
- No Trouble
- Always Something
- When You Come Around
Fans can find Ashland at the following locations: