Ashley Shadow - Aidan & The Wild - Ian Jones
The Vancouver, B.C.-based songwriter, Ashley Shadow has shared her new single, "Grey" which follows on the heels of the MOJO-tipped "For Love" and the Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan-approved "Don't Slow Me Down" (feat. Bonnie "Prince" Billy). "Grey" arrives as another installment of Shadow's forthcoming second album, Only the End which comes mixed by Joshua Wells (Destroyer, Lightning Dust, ex-Black Mountain) and is set for release via Felte on September 24, 2021 (CD/Digital) & October 29, 2021 (Vinyl). The new release follows her eponymous self-titled debut which found critical acclaim at Stereogum, The A.V. Club, KEXP, Brooklyn Vegan, FLOOD, Under the Radar, and more.
Ashley Shadow describes the new single as "a gentle moment of existential dread", a notion mirrored in the track's lyrics as she sings, “Grey took over the sky/far too much to think about, don’t try.” However, any temptation to wallow is countered by Colin Cowan’s (Elastic Stars) buoyant French-pop bassline and a dancing pedal steel played by Paul Rigby (Neko Case). The song mirrors some of the moody introspection synonymous with the Pacific Northwest but while this new single explores fairly solemn ideas, it balances these with music that brings with it a palpable sense of hope. Ashley's chilling vocal performance simmers alongside gently picked electric guitar and Rigby's swooning pedal steel.
While the songs on Only the End were conceived in contemplative solitude, Ashley invited some very capable collaborators into the studio to assist with the process of recording; alongside the aforementioned Bonnie "Prince" Billy, Shadow invited Paul Rigby (Neko Case), Joshua Wells (Black Mountain, Lightning Dust), Colin Cowan (Elastic Stars) and Ryan Beattie (Himalayan Bear). Ashley, the twin sister of Amber Webber (of Lightning Dust, co-founder of Black Mountain), has previously contributed vocals to Bonnie "Prince" Billy's album, Lie Down in the Light, Pink Mountaintop's Outside Love, The Cave Singers' Welcome Joy and more.
==========================================================================Aidan & The Wild - The Whip (feat. Merel Sophie).
Yesterday Aidan & the Wild will released his new single 'The Whip'. Teaming up with Merel Sophie, Aidan & the Wild's latest single explores the crossover fields between americana and soul and sleezes the listener into taking it easy.
This song originated when Diederik spoke with Otto Wichers (Lucky Fonz III) about the industry's constant pressure to perform and achieve, to which Otto jokingly said that we've all become musicians so we wouldn't have to slave away for a boss, so why would you whip yourself in the same way? These words stuck in Diederik's head on the way home, and sparked the inspiration for the hook of the song.
At the age of eight, Eindhoven native Diederik van den Brandt became fascinated by the guitar and that love has only continued to grow ever since. Under the alias Aidan & the Wild, the songwriter and multi-instrumentalist tells his musical story. Where his ‘open-tuning’ guitar playing can be traced back to influences such as Ben Howard and the Tallest Man On Earth, he just as often casts his gaze towards Nashville. Armed with a bag full of guitar techniques and an honest voice, he brings a timeless mixture of folk and americana, which carries an unique freshness.
Over the years, his passion for the guitar has branched out to a wider range of instruments, including the pedal steel guitar, banjo and mandolin. Meanwhile, he can be found almost as often as a ‘side-man’ with fellow songwriters. He takes this experience into the studio, as can be heard on Aidan & the Wild's debut album ‘Revelation Never Came’.
Ian Jones’ new six-song EP Evergreens, set for release October 22, 2021, is a seamless collection previewing a forthcoming as-yet-untitled full-length. Spin the title-track lead single to hear a rapidly rising songwriter exponentially evolving. “‘Evergreens’ was written in a garage in Southern California after I had moved from Seattle to chase my music dream,” Jones says. “It all came to a head one day when I just really missed my friends. I had been messing around with the Open D guitar tuning and this song came out. ‘Evergreens’ is for those who have had the guts to leave their hometown and explore the world. We all miss friends and the comfort of our surroundings.”
The poignant single has only doubled down on power and punch as we see light possibly slicing through the COVID-19 pandemic darkness. “We worked tirelessly on my last record (Results Not Typical),” Jones says. “We had the album ready for release, booked subsequent tours and support and were immediately shut down like everyone else due to the COVID pandemic. Of course, that doesn’t mean the rest of the world stopped just because the touring stopped. So, we had to find a way to continue making records so we could complete the follow-up album in a relatively timely manner. Luckily, we had done a good, long session in January before the shutdown and we had started tracking demos in Seattle and sending them to our producer Jesse Siebenberg in Ojai. We have decided to release this EP as a representation of the full-length as we wait out the uncertainties as far as the rate the world will open up again.”
The result produced a timely song-cycle fortified by timeless tunes such as “Liars, Criminals, Beggars and Thieves.” “This song is straight up about politics and politicians,” Jones says. “Not one side or another — across the board. I know a few people who have gone into politics and it changed them. Seems like a pretty nasty career choice. I’m sure there are a few honest ones, but they sure seem to hide. This song came into existence a while ago and every time I would hear something about politics or politicians screwing someone —or everyone, for that matter — I would sit down and jot down a line or two. I knew I had to finish it by the time we were halfway through 2019 and headed for the election with the fighting between both sides being so bad.”