Michigan native and L.A resident, Anna Ash is holding on, not back. A sincere sorceress of internal voyeurism, Ash’s fragile confidence stands firm ground and shines brightly on her sophomore record Floodlights released earlier this week. Slide guitar and dusty, feathered percussion dip and sway against Ash’s strikingly pure and piercing songbird soprano. Floodlights is a poignant display of a love run dry and/or a love gone awry that rolls with the patience of an impending storm on the horizon; lightening without the thunder.
Is Floodlights a country record? Maybe. It tangos with rock n roll attitude on occasion and yanks on some folky heartstrings, too. But beyond genre displacement, the record is a grand achievement in story telling, quietly exposing the deepest layers of epidermis with a tender honesty that doesn’t require categorization, only reflection.
Recorded in Minnesota, mastered on the West Coast and the reprisal of Ash’s Michigan band (Joe Dart, Julian Allen, and James Cornelison) Floodlights creation is as well traveled as the pictorial pastures and valleys the album dares to explore. “Player” is finger waving, audacious dose of told-you-so whereas Ash’s Lucinda Williams cover “Fruits of my Labor” is a sensual peach bite coated in sultry regret and the track “Hold On” is a bouncy series of what-if’s and hypothetical missteps. No ground is left uncovered on Floodlights but it isn’t until the title/closing track that we are forced to our knees after a perilously raw journey through Ash’s beautifully tormented history. Barely exceeding a whisper, Ash compares the shake of an old car to the way her voice warbles when she lies, professing that “It ain’t gonna kill you to sleep alone once and a while.” A heart wrenching, steering wheel clenching kiss goodbye to us, to them, to who she is or was, “Floodlights” as a singular track and as a collection rattles with a tender brutality that is relatable and malleable, melted and frozen.
Mostly Midwest premiered the album this week and is streaming it in it’s entirety now. Check out the playful track “Player” below:
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