Album: Over The Moon
Label: Rise Records / ADA Warner
Hailing from a small-town in Illinois, Ashland took their name from a long-ago phenomenon that speaks to both destruction and transcendence. “My grandma told me a story about an old town that had been burned down by a fire and was renamed Ashland once it was rebuilt. We love the idea of beauty and growth coming from pain and struggle, and I think it really connects with the whole spirit of our band,” explains vocalist Asia Marie, who co-founded the band with Aaron Wood.
Ashland formed in 2014 after Aaron and Asia linked up through a Craigslist ad. Despite their shared passion for punk and post-hardcore, the two musicians came from wildly different backgrounds: Asia grew up singing in church, choir, and musicals and taught herself piano and guitar as a kid, while Aaron took up guitar in fifth grade and then played in bands all throughout high school (in addition to producing for local acts later on). With Aaron describing the duo as “driven to the point of insanity,” the band soon began booking shows every place they could: VFW halls, friends’ basements, the parking lot of a Hardee’s in nearby Springfield. With their self-released EP Interim arriving in 2015, Ashland soon adopted a highly collaborative creative process by mining the songwriting material that Asia had secretly stored up for years. “She’d been hiding all these songs forever, and finally we pulled a ton of them out and started working on them,” Aaron recalls. “We’d had a strong chemistry from the beginning but taking a more collective approach to songwriting really helped refine our sound and set us on the path we’re on now.”
On their sophomore album Over the Moon, Ashland channel that spirit into a batch of songs spotlighting boldly inventive guitar work and radiant vocal presence. Mainly produced by Kris Crummett (Dance Gavin Dance, Issues) and partly recorded with their longtime collaborator and close friend Matthew Amelung (a producer/engineer who passed away from cancer in June 2019), the band’s Rise Records debut unfolds with an entirely original sound that merges perfect pop melodies, genre-bending experimentation, and a consistent element of rock-and-roll.
Over The Moon is set to be released on 13.12.2019 via Rise Records.