No matter what you think about what’s going on in our society, one thing is true. Troubled times like now generally lead to good and hopeful art. On the new EP Spreading Light (produced by 2728 Records), English singer-songwriter Samuel Michael Ashton brings his hope for the world to life.
In a soulful voice, Ashton sings, “How my heart feels woe when there’s such injustice and pain.” The antidote of course is to “keep on spreading light.” The melody is pretty simple with just acoustic guitar and piano. The rhythm is provided by some clapping akin to a gospel choir.
In a similar vein is “Love Is in the Sun.” In the lyrics, Ashton catalogs all the places where you can find love. The melody has a gospel feel with the clapping and the backing vocals. This is also the first song where a bass line is noticeable.
The beginning of “Send Me Angels” is reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen – particularly with the organ and the acoustic guitar. The first chorus ventures a bit into the Bakersfield sound with some pedal steel. This is a good example of how Ashton not only makes layers of sound but creates drama in the song by changing the tempo and the tone. This song would be a good teaching tool for young songwriters.
This EP is only five songs, but in those songs, Ashton shows an ability to tell a story and to evoke a response from the listener. Having played all the parts on the EP, he also shows a tremendous amount of musical ability. Fans of good songwriting will really enjoy this EP.Spreading Light will be available on streaming and download services on January 19. If you prefer a CD, you can order one here.