Ashlyn [2xLP] [Limited Clear]
Ashe is a remarkably talented 28-year-old Californian singer-songwriter with melodies that skip from childlike simplicity to sophisticated complexity from one line to the next.
The touchpoints in her music range from classic (Carole King, Brian Wilson, Abba) to contemporary (Taylor Swift, Kacey Musgraves), but there’s sometimes a “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer”-like touch of music hall — it’s not hard to imagine some of her melodies sung with a jaunty step. It is a high compliment to say that she could make a fantastic children’s album.
Her songs often start with a naïve, conversational, even corny melody, but then they climb and dip and pirouette as she triples the number of syllables per measure and effortlessly jumps up an octave before bursting into a big, effervescent chorus. The songs might be sad or wistful or angry (we suspect the original lyric in “Me Without You” may not have been “go find yourself”), but there’s a warmth in all of them, even the heartbreaking “Ryne’s Song,” to a brother who passed away last year.