Salt Ashes spent five years working on her debut album, five years channelling her life into music.
And now it's here. Self-titled, the Brighton-raised artist's debut album is available right now, a complex fusion of twisting, turning autobiography and supple, ever-evolving production.
Reminiscent of Madonna's imperial pop phase, or even Kate Bush at her most direct, the record has won plenty of fans and admirers.
Clash is entranced, and invited Salt Ashes to display a few of her influences...
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Change - 'Hold Tight'
‘Miracles’ is one of the first disco records I fell in love with, with ‘Hold Tight’ being my favourite track off the album. To me, a great song will make you cry, dance or want to sing and this makes me want to dance every time. Diva Gray’s vocals on this are so smooth and effortless over a undeniably funky track. I adore that bass line through the verse and when the guitar line comes in on the chorus it’s hard not to want to move. The whole record is so relevant to music that’s being released today. I put this on when I’m getting ready for a night out.
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Bjork - 'Joga'
One of my all time favourite Bjork tracks. I’m always drawn to the sound of real strings anyway as they take you on an emotional journey. The whole song instils a sense of yearning for me until that first chorus hits with that muddy, warped bass line which changes the mood from tense to groove.
There's so many different layers of emotion to this track; you can feel something different each time you listen depending on which instrumental part you’re focusing on. Of course Bjork’s vocal delivery and phrasing is always mesmerising which I listen to when I feel like my writing needs to be pushed more.
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Depeche Mode - 'Black Celebration'
I did a cover of this song when I first started out as I love it so much. It’s dark, epic and moody which sums up the bigger side of my songwriting. I love how driven the lead synth make this song feel. This track tells me it’s OK to be quirky and dark; “Black Celebration… I’ll drink to that”. 'Black Celebration' is also my favourite album from Depeche Mode.
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Donna Summer - I Feel Love'
This was the track that introduced me to Giorgio Moroder who produced it. When I first heard it I completely lost myself in the music, giving in to the gritty, rhythmic drive of the synths and surrendering to Donna Summer’s sultry vocals. The contrast of these gritty and silky elements harmonise so well and transport you back to Studio 54 (the one place I would travel back in time to). Until time travel has been invented I just close my eyes, turn the volume up and move my body until I'm at Studio 54 with sweat dripping down my chest and a stranger's hands on me.
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Jeff Buckley - 'Lover, You Should’ve Come Over'
This song makes me want to cry every time I hear it especially now because it reminds me of an ex-boyfriend of mine. But, like I said I want songs to move me in some way. I adore Jeff Buckley’s voice and the freedom he has with it. I listened to him as well as Kate Bush when I was discovering and learning about my voice and how to let it do what it wants to. Lyrically he has also really inspired me... I just wish we could hear what he would be creating today. "She is the tear that hangs inside my soul forever” - Kills me.
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Salt Ashes self-titled debut album is out now.