By Cynthia Gross
On March 11, Miami, Florida-based electronic pop artist ASHERAH released her debut 4-track EP, Ephemeral, which “tells a highly personal tale of the grief process through shimmering sound design and haunting vocals.” The stunning collection of songs is otherworldly and transformative, guiding listeners through the abyss to higher ground.
ASHERAH, aka Ariel Morer, centers Ephemeral around themes of nature and spirituality as a means to heal. “River,” the opening track – and one of my favorites – is delicate and mesmerizing. The personified river serves as an awe-inspiring energy source that beckons individuals to engage. “I’ll keep you safe now / Just count to three,” the river says, leading ASHERAH to step in “wanting to feel something.” The piano outro to “River” is a hidden gem and arguably one the loveliest parts of the song.
“Holy,” another standout track on the album, features an upbeat, tribal vibe and world influences. With lyrics like “Who will be the one to bring the light back to the sun / Make us holy,” the song feels like a spiritual chant. There is a sacred element to ASHERAH’s aura, beginning with her artist name and flowing through the compositions. “Holy” asks more questions than it offers answers, revealing the uncertainty that challenges even those of us with the strongest faith.
“Can I survive this valley I don’t have the will to climb?” ASHERAH asks. It’s refreshing to encounter this honest perspective that bridges the divide between the sacred and secular, reminding listeners that regardless of our identity, we’re all beautifully imperfect human beings.
ASHERAH notes that “Chasm” set the tone for Ephemeral, produced by electronic composer Medulasa, with cover art by Mea Adoryan. “I wrote it about a close friend who passed away of an overdose, so this record is dedicated to him.” The song features breathtaking vocalizations and immersive soundscapes, expressing emotions that are too deep for words. “I tried to help you / I tried to heal you / Because I need you / But you don’t need me, too,” ASHERAH sings in the few lyrical lines of “Chasm.”
The EP’s closing track, “More Than Miles,” finds ASHERAH committing to move forward. While she cannot reverse the tragedy that claimed the life of her friend, she can cherish his memories. Looking to nature as an example, the lullaby acknowledges that ends are beginnings, and each season provides an opportunity to embark on the difficult journey of starting anew.
ASHERAH’s new EP is an impressive debut that is well worth a listen from start to finish. Follow our Alchemical Multigenre Mixdown playlist for more great music featured on the site.
Cynthia Gross is a freelance writer and award-winning spiritual pop artist based in Maryland. With more than a decade of experience as an executive ghostwriter, she understands the power of each individual’s voice to create positive, meaningful change.
Flow-bending artist aSanTIS discusses art, culture, and whether sound can solve the world’s problems in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
My interview with Amy Santis aka aSanTIS began in the most unexpected way. The Maryland-based flow-bending artist and lyrical storyteller came prepared to engage in conversation around questions I had posed – and she also brought one or two of her own thoughtful prompts based on her curiosities around my view of learning.
This practice of taking in her surroundings deeply through observation and inquiry has come naturally to aSanTIS ever since she was a young child. In terms of her early starts in music, she notes that she began as a discerning listener. “Just listening to music from my mom, on the radio, just being a consumer in the world of sound. But I think mainly, my mom has always loved dancing and listening to music, so that was sort of like second nature. We play music at gatherings, we play music in the car, and these songs are sort of like diaries that take us into a specific place.”
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