First Signs of Love No 223. Tommy Ashby

Discover Scottish songsmith Tommy Ashby our latest First Signs of Love featured artist. First Signs of Love is about the moment you find a new artist to love, and you simply can’t get enough. Discover more from our archive.

Tommy Ashby – When Love Goes Dark

‘When Love Goes Dark’ is the latest single release from Scottish singer-songwriter Tommy Ashby and the first track written for his debut album ‘Lamplighter’ due for release in March this year. The album is being released in stages, so click on the player below to discover ‘When Love Goes Dark’ along with six other tracks.

2022 saw a steady stream of single releases which impressed the singer’s emotive vocal style and thought-provoking lyricism. Again, employing the production of Grammy Award-winning producer Sam Okell (Celeste, Graham Coxon, The Beatles), Ashby’s latest track is fragile yet full of grandeur, the singer demonstrating how he can hold you in his light with the most delicate of touches.

Up until now, Ashby’s previous releases have all been sufficiently linear in their construction allowing his vocal to be the centre and the focus, with the music orbiting around it. On his latest release, the artist has veered off the beaten path slightly to great effect, delving more into experimental elements to enrich the song, an effect that elevates his vocal to even loftier heights.

Within the track’s slow chant-like intro that leads up to the singer’s high-range vocal, there is a distorted sense of The Lumineers ‘Ho, Hey’, it’s happy-go-lucky lilt replaced by something altogether more unsettling.

When Ashby sings “My redemption is slow-burning”, his sensitivity is both introspective and pious, appealing to the listener on different levels. This sensitivity feeds into the track manifest through the slightest chord change as it moves deftly through brooding instrumentation and tempo, to the melodrama of lost love, switching pace from slow and reflective to impassioned and purposeful. The contrast in Ashby’s crystalline vocals and the wall of sound crescendo created by guitar, bass and keys creates a sense of tension and inertia, as the singer forges ahead on his crusade of self-belief: “Hold on tight to your heart”.

“It’s about the difficulties of trying to go in the direction you chose, doing the things you actually want to.”…But ultimately, you should hold on tight to the thing that made you want to do it in the first place. The spark of an idea that inspired you to start.”

As a last glimpse into Ashby’s world before his debut album lands in March the track reveals an exciting and progressive side to the singer-songwriter, a side that hopefully, he will explore more of in the future.  

Discover more from Tommy Ashby

Discover more on RCM

Words Andrew Gutteridge