Pop-rock duo Ashland have just recently signed to Rise Records and released their three-song EP, ‘misc’. Composed of Asia Marie and Aaron Wood, the two-piece mange to combine soulful melodies with guitar hooks that draw you in from beginning-to-end.
Things start off with ‘No Trouble’ as Marie‘s strong vocals immediately begin with a soft piano sound in the background, and Wood quickly sweeps in with his guitar harmonics. It’s a perfect blend between vocals and melody, without one managing to overpower the other. The second verse is much more gritty and the emotions of the lyrics come pouring out.
‘Always Something’ follows suit, with a soft opener of just vocals and simple melody. What’s impossible to miss on this EP is Marie‘s impeccable vocals and her ability to completely bring you in to feel every lyric. They want you to feel everything that they’ve been through on this cut, which seems to be about moving forward in life – something that’s universally relatable.
Curtain closer ‘When You Come Around’ is probably the most upbeat song on this EP, allowing us to unpack another layer of Ashland, showcasing their more alternative rock side. Dealing with a broken relationship, the track is, again, relatable for every listener, and the duo make sure that this is possible. Bearing strong resemblances to already firmly established contemporaries like 5 Seconds Of Summer and Against The Current, it’s got the makings of a perfect anthem to be performed live.
Rise Records have struck gold with Ashland. The EP is full of soul, energy, and emotions through and through. It’s a shame that we’ve been restricted to only 3-tracks of their capabilities here, as ‘misc’ definitely leaves you itching for a lot more.