I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that my mood influences the style of music I listen to, at any given time. My love of clean-cut guitar riffs, earth-shaking bass patterns and hard-hitting drum beats is probably evident throughout the blog and is something I’m not afraid to admit. But deep beneath my love of loud rock tracks and catchy pop hooks, is an undying adoration for acoustic music; be it modern folk or full-blown Americana.
That’s why, when I first heard Tommy Ashby’s brand new single, I knew I had to write about it. Ashby is a Scottish born singer/songwriter, with a musical style similar to that of fellow Scotsmen Martin & James and 90’s rockers turned easy listening four-piece, Travis. That comparison may sound cliché, but it’s something that was obvious to me from the very first listen.
‘Passing Through’ is Ashby’s brand new single, recorded at the infamous Abbey Road Studios in London and mixed and mastered by the equally infamous Sam Okell (whose previous clients include The Beatles, PJ Harvey and Laura Marling, to name a few). These two key elements as well as Ashby’s natural talent and musical flair, combine to create a truly angelic single.
‘Passing Through’ is a real treat for the ears, with Ashby’s warm accented vocals taking you to somewhere far from this world and all of its flaws. It’s a wonderfully uplifting arrangement, complete with angelic feather-light harmonies and soft strums of the acoustic guitar. These elements are especially noticeable in the build-up to the chorus, when the song breaks like a wave on the shore, despite giving the impression of something far heavier and more prominent.
But there’s nothing prominent or heavy about this song, other than Ashby’s thought-provoking observation on life and relationships, that creates the main focus of the track: “…’cos the way I see it you’re lonely and I am too. And the way I see it we’re only passing through…”.
Tommy Ashby is a remarkable musician and ‘Passing Through’ is evidence of that. If you were enchanted by his ‘Further’ EP released in 2016, were wowed by his performance at Boardmasters Festival earlier in the month, or even if you’ve only come across his music for the first time today, I can say quite confidently that this single will not disappoint.