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What Really Matters by Dan Ashley

To put it simply, Dan Ashely has a voice that can do some amazing things. That said, in his new single “What Really Matters” and its accompanying music video, Ashley flexes some serious muscle behind the microphone without giving in to the overindulgences that have become quite common among his contemporaries in independent pop/rock. He attacks the verse with a humble harmonization that slowly forms a blanket of melodies before our very ears here, and although his isn’t the only indie release worth looking at this winter, it’s a solid find if you like adult contemporary with a powerhouse soft rock energy.

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The video for “What Really Matters” is visually striking, but its main jewel definitely doesn’t lie in its imagery. The real star of this show is always the soundtrack, which syncs up with the visual depictions from the jump and connects with us as seamlessly as it does as a single. The melodic twists and turns in the rhythm aren’t as jarring as they could have been, and while Ashley conservatively distributes his vocal across the track’s most cathartic of moments, he’s careful to avoid the pitfalls that come with making a verse the primary showcase in a song as instrumentally expressive as it is poetically blunt.

I’ve just recently been getting into Dan Ashley’s unique sound, but I’m very curious to hear more of his music after getting a taste of this rookie single and video in the past week. Ashley is an old fashioned singer with a new school-strain of pop composing, and though it might take his material a little longer to gain traction with the mainstream than that of his more plasticized rivals would, I think that it will actually benefit his career more in the long run to let this creativity simmer for just a couple of extra minutes.

Mindy McCall



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