Some artists are more than content to make predictable pop music that never pushes the boundaries of what it could be, instead resting on the laurels of what has always been, but others – like Ashley Delima – have no interest in engaging in such artistic laziness. Delima has committed herself to making a music that constantly provokes thought within those who consume it, a music that speaks to the very fabric of our culture, communities and sense of humanity, and moreover, a music which relates to people across the spectrum, regardless of background or personal taste. In Delima’s new single “Fire in the Sky,” she brings her lofty ambitions into the studio with her and lays down her most charming grooves yet against a backdrop of loving lyricism that is conveyed straight from her heart. Whether it be through the supple string melodies or the plainspoken nature of her prose, “Fire in the Sky” is a deceptively simple single that will leave you utterly breathless and craving more from this artist after only three and a half minutes of unadulterated sonic bliss.
The arrangement employed in this song is extraordinarily exotic and really helps Ashley Delima to showcase her incredible vocal range in a way that we’ve never heard prior to now. While past singles like “Cigarette” saw her playing with her sonic parameters and exploring her songcraft with a bit of reticence, she’s unbelievably in her element in this track and more than open to digging as deep into her skillset as she can. Her efforts reward us with a chilling tonality that is reminiscent of the vocal icons who paved the way for her career, but to call it anything other than an original sound through and through simply wouldn’t be true. Delima is wearing her influences on her sleeve here, but at the same time, she’s forging a unique identity around both her lyrics and the progressive way in which she approaches them in the heat of the moment. “Fire in the Sky” goes a long way to solidifying her status as one of the most cunning young songwriters in the game today, and for a lot of us in the journalism community, we saw this moment coming as early as her first few recordings back in 2018.
There’s no shortage of good music due out this year, but Ashley Delima’s “Fire in the Sky” is definitely among the most elite of the bunch. It does a heck of a job in teasing what’s to come next with her rookie EP, but I don’t think that it was composed for marketing reasons alone. Delima strikes me as the type of artist who goes all-in on everything that she sets out to record, and as a result, we needn’t fear any filler adorning the tracklist of forthcoming releases any time soon. She’s exhibiting a lot of skills that you just can’t teach in any school on this single, but my gut tells me that we’ve only just begun to see what this mightily melodic singer is capable of when there’s nothing in the world to hold her back.
Photo credit – Matthew Lyons/Culture Theater
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