Call up Alice and don’t be late to tumble down the rabbit hole, as alt-pop songstress Ashe embarks on her solo career with her mesmerizing debut EP. Already popularly known for her topline features on tracks with notable artists and producers, such as Louis the Child, Whethan, and Big Gigantic, Ashe’s exquisite vocals have been keeping electronic music fans dancing since she entered the scene in 2017. Her transition from featured to solo artist has been met with overwhelming support. Billboard recently named her as one of “the brightest rising vocalists over the coming year,” and VEVO included her in their 2018 dscvr Artists to Watch program.
The Rabbit Hole is a testament to this well-deserved praise, as the EP follows an exciting, psychedelic, musical journey that showcases Ashe’s undeniable talent. Similar to an actual drug-induced trip, the EP chronicles peaks and valleys of emotions, while maintaining a musically mind-bending atmosphere and an overarching message of love. Our minds were so blown by this otherworldly release that we decided to deconstruct The Rabbit Hole track by track, so as to fully immerse ourselves in Ashe’s kaleidoscopic world.
“After Life” serves as your official welcome to The Rabbit Hole, as Ashe encourages you to “go where no one goes,” where “everything is fine.” A funky beginning to the EP, the song incorporates pizzicato strings and a jazzy, piano motif to get you flying high. With quirky references to Willy Wonka’s “Violet Beauregard” and getting a “golden ticket into the void,” Ashe sets a tone of ethereal elation for the beginning of this trip.
Our trip takes an enchanting, inspirational turn with “Choirs,” the EP’s lead single. This upbeat banger encourages you to embrace your oddities and silence “the choirs” of haters in your head. A whimsical tune, filled with sparkling piano glissandos, nimble finger-picking on an electric guitar, and playful whistles, Ashe shows us a blithesome world free of judgment and abounding with acceptance.
“Sometimes People Suck”
From silencing the chorus of haters in your head in “Choirs,” Ashe transitions to a more collective “fuck you” in her anthem for all the assholes. A light-hearted tune with a driving beat and a catchy melody, Ashe celebrates paying no mind to the people that suck, with a spirit of graceful camaraderie.
“Real Love” is a standout track and Ashe’s personal favorite on the EP. In “Real Love,” we enter the tender, existential moment of our trip. Expressing the humbling flower child sentiment that we are one in the same, she pairs this message with rich harmonies over an acoustic guitar and a featured harmonica. Seemingly Beatles-inspired, one cannot help but feel as if this is a modern-day testament to the peace and psychedelic loving songwriters of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
“Wrong Side of Myself”
We drift back to reality a bit with this more sobering song, which focuses on the relatable anxieties of self-destruction and abandonment. The serious lyrical themes are intriguingly juxtaposed by the sing-a-long, upbeat nature of the melodies, serving as a smooth segue into the climactic following track.
“We Get High”
Get ready to peak because this swing-inspired dance tune is guaranteed to get you there. In this final high, Ashe combines the vintage feel of 1930s swing music with modern pop flair. Featuring a fat brass section, jazzy piano riffs, and explosive trumpet solos, she hurdles you to the highest point of the EP, only to gently guide you down.
“Someone to Lose”
Right down into the dreamy, final track of The Rabbit Hole. The perfect comedown song. Ashe creates a culminating anthem for her debut, which explores pushing boundaries for the sake of love. As she ties up her mesmerizing debut, Ashe fades away with a haunting a cappella outro, leaving us with serene images of lush gardens and strawberry fields.
Experience the trip for yourself; take a listen to The Rabbit Hole below: