Here is a dreamily gentle, melodic beauty of a song from Ashley Shadow AKA Ashley Webber. It’s an achingly sad ballad, full of loss and yearning: “Does he search my name does he ever think about // All the troubles and pain if he hasn’t by now…” Having provided backing vocals on Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy’s 2018 album ‘Lie Down in Light’, Shadow invited the popular singer-songwriter to collaborate on this single. Indeed, the combination of their vocals is a tuneful delight. Alongside this, the haunting pedal steel is like an additional voice.
Shadow says of the video: “Since we had trouble connecting in the flesh with Will Oldham we decided to get creative with our approach to this video. I asked Will to send some footage to the song with little direction and said to get as weird as he wanted with it, he’s a professional. When Will’s footage arrived Tyler McLeod and I were pumped up and the gears started turning. The creative juices were flowing and it all unfolded a wave of cosmic vibrations. Through analog effects and nostalgic references the video took on its own life and we succumbed to the creative forces of multi-dimensional techniques. Thus a video was born.” Directed by Tyler McLeod, the video has the feel of an old television set and the accompanying difficulty in tuning it in; this is really effective in creating a sense of disconnection and separation, which reinforces the song’s sombre resignation and nostalgia, summarised in the Shadow’s lines, sung solo: “Now moving away and settling down // Feeling a calm from time going round // Seeing your life twenty years from now.”
‘Don’t Slow Me Down’ is the standout song from the Vancouver singer-songwriter’s recently released second album ‘Only the End’. Emotional, heart-breaking stuff. Check it out.
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