Albums You Should Hear… Anna Ash- These Holy Days

annaashSo, this is new, eh? Long before TMTB existed, and long before amateur journalism had made my fingers slightly stiffer, music was my life. Listening and creating was an all day/night consumption, once you got that pesky school bit out of the way each day. Today I still do, but less so. And one of the rare things I pride myself on was finding some relatively unknown artist. Some have gone on to big things, others just kind of went. It’s truly sad when a good one slips through the cracks, especially when a lot of rubbish seems to be getting big contracts these days.

I came across Anna Ash awhile back on Daytrotter. Downloaded her session and really enjoyed it. After look at her site and checking my bank account, I ordered the vinyl LP of These Holy Days, which comes with a digital download of the album instantly with purchase.

These Holy Days starts off with “Just Like the Movies”, a pop single that slinks along at a relaxing pace. This leads into “Heartbreak Season”, a number that starts off sexy and light with an atmosphere of a mellow house party.

This goes into “Let Me Fall”, about the end of a relationship set against a jazzy background, complete with an organ. Here is where Ash’s soprano voice really soars beautifully with pitch perfect precision. The tracks that follow only confirm this, whether it be 60’s bossa nova-like “paradise” or the foot stomping romp of “Love Like You Do”. All this leads to “crazy”, a sultry number that starts out with “I want to leave you speechless/ I want to pull every heartstring with my teeth”. It’s sexy, but never sticky or sleazy. Ash for nearly five lovely minutes on the finer points of love.

The final three tracks I liken to a turbulent boat ride. The instrumental “Your Winter Hymn” is the calm before the storm. The storm is the Sorrowful “These Holy Days”. This is the key track of the album for me. The whole album leads up to this climax. It’s a pleading and grieving song, where Ms. Ash wears every emotion for all to hear, with such lyrics as “Oh thank god someone taught me how to pray/ These holy days are killing me/ These holy days have got me on my knees”. The storm subsides with “Can’t Stay Too Long”, but all the emotion that built up the entire album is still there.

Now here is all the cool stuff: You can stream the entire album here. This is also where you can purchase These Holy Days if you dig it, in a few different formats. The digital version is only $10. But if you are like me and prefer something a little more physical, you can buy the CD for only $11 and the vinyl is only $15 (plus shipping) and you instantly get the digital download with purchase. You can’t really beat that either way. Plus, if you want to contribute more cash with the purchase to help with the music-making process, you have that option at your disposal. Plus plus, you can purchase her other two albums, Demos for $6 and Covers for whatever you would like to pay for it, both digital dowloads.

So this wasn’t too painful, right? Bit different from what I normally write on here. But always fun and a bit scary expanding.


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