Ashley Shadow – “Tonight” (Stereogum Premiere)

Ashley Shadow is Ashley Webber, a longtime contributor to Vancover’s music scene. Besides playing bass in the early-aughts post-punk combo the Organ, she’s sung on albums including Bonnie “Prince” Billy’s Lie Down In The Light, Pink Mountaintops’ Outside Love, and the Cave Singers’ Welcome Joy, landing her voice on releases by some of the world’s most prominent indie labels (Drag City, Jagjaguwar, and Matador respectively). Plus her sister is Lightning Dust leader Amber Webber. With a pedigree like that, it’s about time Webber released a project of her own.

“Tonight” is the first single off of Ashley Shadow’s self-titled debut album. It’s inspired by her personal relationships and the realizations she has come to through her work with Vancouver’s at-risk population. Webber filters these emotions through a sound that is somehow both clear and far away, complemented by twangy guitars that reverberate into the ever-present emptiness.

It’s from this space that Webber carves the most distinct elements of “Tonight.” Because although her dreamy vocals demonstrate her poignant sense of longing — “Lay your guard down tonight” goes the refrain — her sparse soundscape is what drives the feeling home. As the song progresses and confidence builds in tandem with distorted guitar swells, a sense of resolution prevails through Webber’s increasingly present demeanor. Listen below.

Ashley Shadow is out 4/15 on felte. Pre-order it here.