Today Kennedy Ashlyn aka SRSQ [pronounced ‘seer-skew’], has shared a captivating new single from her forthcoming album ‘Ever Crashing’, which is set for release on the 19th of August through Dais.
The delicate yet crushing ballad “Abyss” sees Ashlyn sing of her bipolar disorder with shattering clarity. Raw and vulnerable, the track embodies her unique ability to masterfully synthesizes her private struggles and sorrows into stirring, redemptive anthems. Her multi-octave range and moodswing songcraft consists of tumult and triumph, darkest night breaking into brightest dawn, proving her a musician of elemental force.
The accompanying self-directed video pictures Kennedy submerged in water. She comments: “Abyss describes my darkest days with the imagery of my skinless body trapped in a riptide, its rawness exacerbated by the rushing saltwater. Suspended above is a glowing orb, the promise of peace, growing fainter and fainter as the tide pulls me down. I watch it disappear in yearning surrender, only to be resurrected by the powerful shine of the sun, which cuts through the water at random, allowing me to ascend if only for a short time. The video was shot almost entirely underwater using a home made periscope.”
Other ‘Ever Crashing’ streaming & pre-save links: https://found.ee/EverCrashing
‘Ever Crashing’ began materializing in the wake of an ADHD and bipolar disorder diagnosis, prompting a profound personal overhaul. Ashlyn cites such periods of turmoil as a muse of sorts, when “songs begin to echo within me,” gradually reverberating clearer and more vividly. As melodies and arrangements come into focus, the songs act like containers, vessels in which to externalize and exorcize tumultuous emotions.
“I became myself in the process of making this record.” From the first choral swells of opener “It Always Rains,” it’s clear this collection exists on an ascendent plane, capturing an artist in superbloom. From swooning end credits balladry (“Dead Loss”) to orchestral slow-burn torch songs (“Abyss”) to dizzying shoegaze heavens (“Someday I Will Bask In The Sun“), the album exudes a sense of aching grandeur and bewildered joy, rich with triumphs hard won and lost loves never forgotten.
Melodies pirouette and crescendo in dazzling, elevated acrobatics, somewhere between Kate Bush and The Sundays, threaded with ethereal undercurrents of shimmering shadow. Riffs brood and sparkle over crystalline synths, buoyant bass, and patient percussion, steadily building to holy moments of tidal power, finessed to perfection by producer Chris Coady (Beach House, Slowdive, Zola Jesus). Ashlyn’s is a dream-pop of questing catharsis, vulnerable but orchestral, as dense with hooks as heartbreak.
The album’s title refers to Ashlyn’s recurring sensation of being trapped in the crest of a wave, turned and churned in the surf, mirroring the cycles of self-flagellation and surrender that she battles being bipolar. But as the poetic raptures of these songs attest, her creative process thrives at transmuting trauma into potent music of arresting beauty and hidden divinity.
‘Ever Crashing’ is an aching, rare work, shaded with gradients of reverie and regret, loss and letting go, “mourning the person I thought I should be, mourning the person I never was.” But even in its pain, Ashlyn’s voice exerts a redemptive gravity, yearning to transform and transcend: “Even on the inside / I’m bracing for impact / I’m waiting to destroy my life / To become sunlight.”
‘Ever Crashing’ sees its release August 19 via Dais Records on vinyl and across all digital platforms, pre-order or pre-save here.
‘Ever Crashing’ track list:
1. It Always Rains
2. Saved For Summer
3. Dead Loss
4. Used to Love
5. Ever Crashing
7. Winter, Slowly
9. Élan Vital
10. Someday I Will Bask In The Sun