It imagine it has to be a pretty interesting day for Ashley.
On the one hand, it’s got to suck to not be able to get out there and perform your brand new album for the fans, but on the other, this is probably going to be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of release for Ashley. How often does an artist release an album and then just… sit at home and chill? Pretty much never.
Nevertheless, Ashley’s sophomore smash, Never Will, is here and it’s exactly that. An absolute smash. The second album is always tricky because you don’t want to just recreate your first album all over again, even it was a complete success, but you also don’t want to shit the bed on the second go around.
“Even though you try to avoid pressure, you can’t because your second record has to prove that your first record was not a fluke… But if we thought too hard, we would have neutered ourselves and not taken some of the chances we wanted to take.”
You see, it’s about balance.
And that’s what Ashley brought to this record. A balance of country and rock and roll that not only showcases her versatility as an artist and a songwriter, but the awareness to lean into each where she sees fit.
“We have a tendency to be a rock band. If we’re going to have those rock tendencies in our sound, let’s don’t just do it a little bit. Dig into that, like you do in therapy. Let’s find out why we do that, and let’s do it on purpose… At first, I thought, I don’t know if all these songs go together. Then, when we laid them all down, I saw, oh yeah. They do. It’s called range. You’re a complete person. You don’t just make a rock record. You don’t just make a country record. You make your record.”
Country record, rock record, country rock record, whatever… HER record is unquestionably phenomenal. Make no mistake people, Ashley McBryde is a shining star in this genre. And it’s only the beginning.
And one of my personal favorites from Never Will, an ode to Styrofoam. Yes, it’s literally about Styrofoam and it’s brilliant.