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Thread: EP review - Ashdown: Love. Life. Longing

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    EP review - Ashdown: Love. Life. Longing


    A review of Ashdown’s newly released EP by Farid FGL Long

    I first met Bernice Ang and Christopher Boey from the group Ashdown more than a year ago when I hosted them on Soft TV the Singer Songwriter Series. Ashdown was formed in 2007 and began life as a punk rock cover band. However in due time, they began writing their own songs. When the first started they were “raw” and still learning the ropes. I also felt they had to learn to come to terms with being in the spotlight. The second thing was that I felt and advised them, was to to try some of their songs in acoustic mode. I am glad they took my advised and recorded this effort as an acoustic album.

    Despite the band’s punk rock roots, a candid interview on soft TV revealed that the bands’ fans had felt they sounded very Christian rock. This is especially evident as the songs are in acoustic mode. As the old saying goes, what a difference a year makes. Bernice and Christopher have both attained greater maturity in their songwriting skills and vocal performance on the album. The band and the execution of the songs sound tighter and more confident. The production is more polished.

    The band had launched their EP at Hood bar recently and played a marvelous set with Bernice embracing her front woman role with much aplomb. Christopher’s guitar work on the album is steady, controlled and crisp. Jared Lo and Marius Liew makes up the rest of the band on bass and percussion respectively. Daniel Wong and Eileen Chai sessions on keyboards violins respectively.

    Love. Life. Longing features four songs which revolve around the standard “Boy Girl Relationship” formula and with so much more. The music is written around Bernice’s poetic lyrics. Like many proses her lyrics do not rhyme every time. They don’t need to. Bernice’s words are akin to her singing poetry set to a fine tapestry of stripped down music.


    Ashdown had performed this song on soft TV and appropriately chooses to open this EP. The band revealed that it was a “relationship” song. It features a nice hook in the chorus which is “sing along” material when the band performs it live. Bernice’s melancholy vocals and understated style of delivery gives the song a feel and identity of its own. This was one of the tunes I felt was best being done in an acoustic setting and is definitely one of the stronger tunes in their catalogue of songs.

    Dear Ryan
    Dear Ryan features components of “mini duet” as Bernice and Jared Lo, who is the bassist, trade verses, sounding like two lovers having it out. All in all, Dear Ryan is well arranged vocally and musically and grows on the listener.

    We’re Gonna Make it Someday (featuring Eileen Chai)
    Eileen Chai lends the album her violin virtuosity in this track. The tune preaches hope and looking forward to better things and her violins riffs seem to convey the optimistic feel right off from the first note in what could be almost described as her signature style.

    Till The End of Time
    The bands showcase their Christian rock sound in this track. The groove and percussion work by Marius Liew stands out in this track.

    You can watch Ashdown’s appearance on soft TV at:

    To learn more about Ashdown check out her website at

    All in all, Love. Life. Longing is a creditable maiden effort for the band. I am very much looking forward to their next effort because they had potential when I first hosted them on soft TV and they have potential now for bigger things in future.
    Last edited by soft; 09-10-14 at 10:05 AM.

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