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Cork's Ash Red release their third single Downtown

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

The first track the band wrote shows they were firing right from the off.


Track: Downtown

Band: Ash Red

Released: February 11 2022

Cover art for Downtown by Ash Red

Einstein may or may not have said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, but music provides a neat reverse of that axiom. It is remarkable how often you can throw guitar/vocals/bass/drums into a mixer, bake at studio temperature for a few days and get a thrillingly different outcome.

I am being slightly disingenuous of course as each of those elements can be made to sound dramatically different. In particular, the singer's vocal variety has a disproportionate effect. And in Arthur Murray, Cork-based alt-rock/grunge trio Ash Red have found the perfect pipes to pop on top of their own dense, sonic stew. Plaintive and affecting, it provides the ideal counterpoint.

Downtown is their third single, released on all streaming platforms on Friday February 11. It's a precursor to their debut album which is currently being mixed. Downtown is the first song they ever wrote, way back at their very first practice in December 2018. At that point they were a four piece and as Arthur says "it's the only song we all wrote together as a group, it's not the first song of ours we'd think to put out, but it's a song that means a lot to us as a band and so it felt appropriate."

Like all the best trios, the whole is way more than the sum of its components. It sounds simple but it's pertinent to point out here, and always worth remembering, that there is a chasmic difference between simple and easy. Indeed as labelmates Soundstrand noted in their last single, (If It's Easy) You're Doing It Wrong.

Given it was written over 3 years ago, it may be happenstance but the track taps smartly into the alt-rock/grunge zeitgeist. It also pulls off the neat trick of combining a rock vibe (think Rory Gallagher), a revered 90s sound (Smashing Pumpkins, Pixies, My Bloody Valentine) and a claustrophobic post punk density. Some tracks aim for an open road lightness and heady escapism - this one takes you straight into a fuzzed-up future with an oppressive, dystopian downtown of your own making.

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