EP Review: Ashe – Moral of the Story: Chapter 1

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Ashe’s EP, Moral of the Story: Chapter 1, gives listeners an insight into the imperfections of life and the ways hurt, disappointment and anger can be channelled creatively. She may only be in her early twenties, but she’s been through a lifetime’s worth of experiences, including graduating from Berklee College of Music, falling in love, getting married and then getting a divorce. Moral of the Story: Chapter 1 rises beyond an anti-love record, it’s much more than that — it’s a raw collection of songs that capture the emotional implications the end of a relationship has on one’s identity and their sense of belonging.

The project opens up with ‘Figured Out’, which might radiate warmth from the surface but contains a series of expressive and personal words by Ashe. The track is one that resonates deeply with anyone who has ever found themselves lost in their thoughts. Lyrics such as "I hold my breath subconsciously, I hope this bed won't swallow me, I tell myself it gets better but, Looking around I wonder who does" will give you chills — especially if you have experienced self-doubt or self-questioning. The upbeat nature of the instrumental is intriguing, especially in juxtaposition with the lyrics — in a way, it presents the feeling where you’re in a negative headspace, but you're convinced in your mind that the world around you is beaming with light. ‘Figured Out’ is an exquisite track and one that’s hard to forget.

‘Bachelorette’ is a soaring number that showcases Ashe’s vocal prowess. It’s about a relationship that’s near completion with Ashe positioned as the one who has to make all the hard decisions — expressing that if the relationship is ending on such a note, that they probably weren't the one anyway. It’s a powerful song, and her assertive words are partnered with a driving piano and thunderous percussion, which only heighten the ferocity of her words. Though there’s hurt amongst the words of the next track ‘Shitty Places, Pretty Faces’, there’s a sense of hope deep within the heart of the song. The instrumentals reflect a pensive mood, but Ashe’s lyrics are calm and collected — she sings, "Just when you've had enough, when it's finally too much, pack your memories and leave them."

The EP closes with the piano-led track ‘Moral of the Story’ —  the ballad sees Ashe reflect on her divorce. The repetition of the words, "Some mistakes get made, that's alright, that's okay," is soothing. The breathtaking track sees the project close on a meditative note and is only fitting for the journey the EP takes listeners on across the four tracks.

Ashe’s new EP is an honest and unfiltered representation of the various stages one endures when a relationship ends — with poise and grace, she takes that hurt and paints it into something that’s utterly superb.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Listen to Moral of the Story: Chapter 1 by Ashe below: