Wednesday, September 15, 2010


"With Mint 400 Records extra busy this fall with a number of exciting upcoming releases due out in the coming weeks, one of the the most immediate to note on the label's horizon is the latest album from The Ashes due out this October 5th, 2010. The trio's 16 song release, Photoplay Music, is a unique blend of old folk, southern blues/country and 60's pop; creating an album that is instrumentally vast and heartfelt with an occasional psychedelic-pop tinge (songs as "Many Years Ago" and "So Gently"). Swirling about the album's minimalistic singer/songwriter core is an abounding variety of instrumentation ranging from tuba, clarinet, trombone and piano which accompany the acoustic strings and syrupy southern sounds of slide guitar and fiddle.

Founding member and main songwriter, Shane Vidaurri recently plainly spoke of the band members' diverse instrumental proficiency while describing the band's freewheeling writing attitude for the record: "we just started playing all kinds of things and no one was really "the guitarist" or "the bassist" anymore...pretty much, if you think of the part, you get to play that part on the record". As a result, Photoplay Music, reveals a sneaky amount of layers and conveys a whimsical nature from time to time (in tracks like "More to Lose" and "Photoplay Music"), though the album normally maintains a strikingly intimate and tastefully understated tone ("Wash Us Away" and "Philidelphia Blues"), lead and reinforced by Shane Vidaurri's warm, temperate vocals. The end product from The Ashes in Photoplay Music is a Lo-Fi folky pop gem of a record that should entertain well after it's fall release."

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