Ashe released her debut album Ashlyn on Friday, May 7th. The 14-track album was accompanied by a video diary about the process. In the video, she said, “We called it Ashlyn for a reason, and it’s just me being the most me I’ve ever gotten with people.”
The album is an authentic tale of the hardships she has faced. It includes songs about her divorce and her brother’s struggles with substance abuse.
Watch the video diary here:
Track One: Till Forever Falls Apart feat. FINNEAS
“Till Forever Falls Apart” as the album’s opener was the best choice when viewing the album as a narrative. Being about unconditional love rather than loss like the rest of the tracks, it can act as a prequel to the songs following it.
Written by Finneas, “Till Forever Falls Apart” is one of the most beautifully written and composed love songs I have ever heard. I can imagine this song being played at weddings. Ashe and Finneas’ voices compliment each other perfectly.
The music video is simple, but I can’t think of a better visual to use for this track. It shows Ashe and Finneas dancing in front of a sunset, and the choreography done by Monika Felice Smith was an incredibly accurate interpretation of the lyrics.
Watch the official music video here:
Track Two: I’m Fine
“I’m Fine” captures the feeling of saying you’re okay when you’re not. It was nowhere near as hard hitting as the rest of the album, but deserves credit for it’s relatability. I catch myself skipping it, but at the same time, the catchiness of it causes it to be stuck in my head for hours after listening. Only being the second track, I don’t think there is a problem with the simplicity of it.
Track Three: Love is Not Enough
Having experienced the feeling of knowing a relationship is failing before it’s over, “Love is Not Enough” easily became one of my favorites. If this was released about a year earlier I could see myself crying with this song on repeat, but for now, I just have it on repeat.
The majority of the album is about Ashe letting go and finding peace, but “Love is Not Enough” is important to the story she’s telling because moving on never comes without pain.
She questions where things went wrong by saying, “Seems like you’ve been walking on eggshells, didn’t put them there when we first fell in love.”
The song explains that while you may both still love each other, it is not always enough to keep a relationship alive. This is a hard pill to swallow but having this song to listen to makes it easier.
Track Four: When I’m Older
This song transitions between the feeling “Love is Not Enough” describes and the next track, “Me Without You.” In “When I’m Older” she acknowledges that the pain is fresh and still exists but that in her future it will become trivial.
This album has the best breakup anthems. It is crucial to anyone looking to cope with their heartbreak through music rather than enhancing it.
Track Five: Me Without You
I absolutely LOVE this song. Anyone who has been through a breakup needs to find this mindset. It is so healing and anytime this song comes on I instantly gain a necessary confidence boost. To sum it up: we only need ourselves. It is natural to feel incomplete after losing someone you love, but we are capable of being whole on our own.
This track deserves to be played at full volume in your room or in your car for the best listening experience. One thing I look for in songs with the same theme is the ability to scream the lyrics, and the chorus enables this. “Me Without You” is sure to become one of my favorite songs of the spring/summer.
The music video, like “Till Forever Falls Apart,” was choreographed by Monika Felice Smith. It was visually pleasing and featured Ashe actually punching a hole through a door.
Watch the music video here:
Track Six: Save Myself
Released in July 2020, “Save Myself” has already made multiple appearances in my playlists. Ashe reflects on how she should have left the relationship earlier when she first noticed the red flags. As someone who also tends to ignore them, this song resonated.
This song also had a music video released in August, 2020. Watch the music video here:
Track Seven: Taylor
“Taylor” is about young love and its demise. We all think our first love is forever; everyone but us knows it will end eventually. This one is mellow so it’s great for staring at the ceiling. I love this one and think it’s underrated, but I also get it because it’s calm compared to the rest of her album.
Track Eight: Not Mad Anymore
This track has the same energy as driving while the sun sets. Any leftover heartbreak seems to disappear while listening to this song.
Track Nine: Always
WARNING: If you aren’t in the mood to cry skip this song. It feels like an old school Adele song, like “Someone Like You.” If that doesn’t explain how heartbreaking it is, I don’t know what will. I can never resist a sad song so this one became a favorite very quickly. The note at the very end left me speechless.
Track Ten: Moral of the Story
I’m sure we’re all familiar with this one. “Moral of the Story” was released in 2019 and became a hit when it was featured in To All the Boys: PS I Still Love You. I quickly became obsessed with this song then and I still am. It no longer evokes strong emotions like it used to but it’s so beautiful I’m not sure if I could ever become tired of it.
Track Eleven: Serial Monogamist
This song was the least relatable, but I enjoy listening to it. It’s about being over relationships, and as a hopeless romantic, I don’t think I’ll know what that feels like. Aside from not feeling the lyrics it’s a very catchy song and much more lighthearted than the others, which is good or else Ashe would have listeners crying for almost an hour.
Track Twelve: Ryne’s Song
“Ryne’s Song,” dedicated to Ashe’s brother Ryne, is one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard. Her brother passed due to an overdose and in this track Ashe wishes she had more time with him. I have never lost someone as important to me as a sibling, but “Ryne’s Song” acts as a wakeup call; we are unsure of how much longer we have with the people in our lives.
Track Thirteen: Kansas
This is technically the last song in the album and it concludes it wonderfully. The chorus says, “It’s only a matter of time.” This makes so much sense because the entire album proves everything ends eventually. It’s more upbeat, so rather than leaving “Ashlyn” heartbroken, I felt more optimistic than I expected.
Track Fourteen: Moral of the Story (feat. Niall Horan) - Bonus Track
As somebody who has been a One Direction fan since the beginning, I was ecstatic when this was released. I may be biased, but I preferred this version to the original. Niall’s verse was an homage to his song “Paper Houses” which makes it his own while still fitting in with Ashe’s lyrics.