On June 30th, the duo known as Ashland released their record entitled “Wildfire” via InVogue Records. It’s a record that is a solid jumpstart for the future of Ashland.
Ashland, out of Central Illinois, is a duo composed of Asia Woodward on vocals and Aaron Wood on guitars. They have taken “Wildfire” and chocked it full of introspection, personal emotions, and quality arrangements into making a solid pop/rock record that will be palatable to a wide range audience.
Asia’s vocals immediately stand out in the opening track to “Wildfire” entitled “Lights Out”. The vocals showcase Asia’s ability to invoke emotion into the song. The rhythm is upbeat and Aaron does a great job with the guitars and arrangements, especially during the bridge of the song, which showcases a bit more of a heavier side of Ashland. Then, “Wildfire” kicks into “For You”, which is a laidback song(until the chorus picks up), and the lyrical content consists of always reaching for that brass ring and always coming up short. The synths/keyboards stand out as the song begins to close. Asia’s vocals and her range stands out in “No Trouble”, which is a song about the difficulty of making the changes that one needs to make in their own life. Ashland does a great job of simply “serving the song” in “No Trouble”, each part of the song blends in nicely, and nothing is overdone or overproduced, making it as organic as possible.
“No Trouble” Ashland
Through its arrangements, lyrical content, and melodies, Ashland has made a record that will appeal to a wide-range audience, in particular to those that are currently into “Synesthesia” by Courage My Love or anything that PVRIS has done. It is a nice blend of a singer/songwriter style that would remind people of the times where people would gather on the back porch underneath a starlit sky and have friends sing songs with lushful melodies, where attention was paid to the melody and the structure of the song. This is a great record to introduce Ashland to the world, I’m anxious to see them take some chances in their song structure and melody structure in the future, but overall, the blend of singer/songwriter with a touch of punk is what will make it palatable for listeners because people always crave songs that are relatable. The music is comforting, vulnerable, yet powerful all rolled into one. Ashland grows on you like an epidemic, great effort, solid 8.5 out of 10 because they’re so damn infectious!
Ashland is coming to a city near you! Check out the tour dates:
Saturday, July 22nd The Firebird in St. Louis, Missouri (w/Isabella, The Former Me, Strikes Back, and Skyline In Ruins)
Monday, August 7th 1904 Music Hall in Jacksonville, Florida (w/Rookie Of The Year, Kyle Lucas, and Brighter Poet)
Wednesday, August 9th Bombshell’s Tavern in Orlando, Florida (w/Rookie Of The Year, Kyle Lucas, Stages And Stereos, and Roughour)
Friday, August 11th- The End in Nashville, Tennessee (w/Rookie Of The Year, Kyle Lucas, Stages And Stereos, and Leander)
Monday, August 14th- Rose Music Hall in Columbia, Missouri (w/Rookie Of The Year, Kyle Lucas, Stages And Stereos, and Between Elsewhere)
Tuesday, August 15th- The Firebird in St. Louis, Missouri (w/Rookie Of The Year, Kyle Lucas, Stages And Stereos, The Cinema Story, Disguise The Limit, and Calloway Circus)
Saturday, August 19th- Smiling Moose in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (w/Rookie Of The Year, Kyle Lucas, and Stages And Stereos)
Sunday, August 20th- Arlene’s Grocery in New York, New York (w/Rookie Of The Year, Kyle Lucas, Stages And Stereos, City Under Siege, and The Autumn After)
Check out Ashland at the following locations: