When music brings together different, dynamic, and diverse identities, magic ensues.
ASHRR exists at the crossroads of analog synth ecstasy, underground industrial darkness, and a dash of Big Easy voodoo. At the same time, three individual journeys coalesce within the final aural transmission. GRAMMY® Award-nominated producer, mixer, engineer, writer, and multi-instrumentalist Ethan Allen boasts an impressive discography, spanning Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Ben Harper, Sheryl Crow, and Meg Myers, to name a few. Frontman Steven Davis draws from a fascinating well of experience, including performing in top live music venues from New York City to Tokyo, co-writing alongside John Oates, and contributing music to film and television productions such as Criminal Minds, Just Getting Started [Tommy Lee Jones and Morgan Freeman], and Startup. Mentored under Rock and Roll Hall of Fame® legend Dr. John, prodigious pianist/recording artist and multi-instrumentalist Josh Charles not only writes, records and produces for top artists, but he also crafts music for visual media and beyond.
A series of serendipitous events united the triumvirate in late 2017. Together, they stirred up a curious, catchy, and cathartic brew in Ethan’s Silverlake studio.
“After we left Ethan’s studio the first time, I said to Steven, ‘This could really be a special band’,” recalls Josh. “We’d both been in other groups, but they weren’t like ASHRR. We didn’t have any rules or deadlines. We just wanted to write songs by our own definition. It felt like a collective immediately.”
“Right out of the gate, we decided we were gonna make the kind of music we want to hear,” exclaims Steven. “We wanted the tone to progress and go somewhere. The lyrics assumed the utmost importance. Given the geopolitical realities of our world along with our writing, it took an aggressive and darker tonality.”
In between other projects, they consistently rallied to conjure up music for ASHRR throughout 2018. The band doubled as a delta for the trio’s respective ideas to pour into as they uncovered a singular style reflective of Joy Division, Roxy Music, David Bowie, Bauhaus, Nine Inch Nails, and Depeche Mode, yet “accessing a realm of elegance through Steven’s voice,” as Josh says.
“It’s very witchy and addictive,” Ethan elaborates. “There’s a New Orleans darkness, because New Orleans speaks more from the hips than the head. Josh and I share that in common. We also share goth and electronic music in common. It’s like Satan’s hangover after a night of dancing in Berlin,” he laughs.
In between regular live appearances and the self-titled ASHRR EP, the vision unfurled on the 2019 independent full-length debut, Oscillator. NPR touted the music video for “Don’t Wait Too Long” on its coveted “All Songs Considered” as acclaim came from POPDUST, AXS, LA Weekly, buzzbands.LA, airplay on KROQ , and many others. Maintaining a prolific pace, the Live in L.A. EP and single “Sacrifice” followed. A remix of “All Yours All Mine” closed out the year. Tempering the tension and suspense of post-punk guitars, claustrophobic neon synths, and a hypnotic and harmonic hum, the remix offers what Ethan describes as “an electrified public service announcement.”
“There’s this weird subconscious feeling of discomfort,” Josh goes on. “It’s got a big chant at the center. We’re singing it together as a selfish and honest look at the world by saying, ‘It’s all yours, and it’s all mine’.”
“The lyrics balance hedonism and altruism,” continues Steven.
In the end, ASHRR not only beckons these three together, but it also beckons audiences in.
“There’s an element of threat and danger in the world, so the music speaks to that,” Ethan leaves off. “By confronting this danger and being friends with it, there’s a sense of celebration and an honest release. The music isn’t trying to impress anyone. It’s about trying to make something real. I hope listeners feel it too.” - Rick Florino
All songs by Josh Charles, Ethan Allen, and Steven Davis except Artifact by Josh Charles and Ethan Allen. Medicine Man by Josh Charles, Ethan Allen , Steven Davis and Gabriella Caspi. All songs arranged and performed by Ethan Allen and Josh Charles except drums on 1,2,3,4,5 by Brian MacLeod and Aaron Sterling.
Ethan Allen and Josh Charles
by Bob Deck
PR: SECRET SERVICE PR
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