The grief of losing someone close to you can often be hard to overcome. Following the passing of a close friend, Asherah created her EP Ephemeral as a way to process the complex feelings she had. A collaboration with experimental electronic composer, Medulasa, the EP draws on nature, spirituality and space to help Asherah and every listener work through the turmoil of grief.
This journey through emotion comes from Ariel Morer who is no newcomer to the music scene. Before rebranding as Asherah, she worked with producer David Ruttenberg in her teens and saw international success. All the proceeds of the Bandcamp sale of this EP are being donated to Rebel Recovery, a Florida-based harm reduction organisation, in the memory of her friend Dennis Thompson.
The EP opens with ‘River’, which was written as a metaphor for addiction, which is what ultimately led to her friend’s passing. The soft synths that open the track lead you into the glittering cascade of sparkling tones. Asherah’s vocals are ethereal, yet nebulous, as they twirl in a liquid dance around the sparkling music. The low levels of the track gain an almost dance movement to them that shakes up your insides. This almost jittering feeling is a wonderful sonic representation of addiction, while the lyrics draw you into the feeling of being pulled down by the current of addiction. The use of a river as a metaphor for addiction has been wonderfully handled in the track and brings the sensations of this to stunning life.
‘Holy’ takes a completely different route with a deep beat that taps against the back of your brain. There is a more emotional feeling to this track as it brings the anger and confusion that accompanies grief to life. While the vocals bring a swirl of emotion to the single with a scratch of anger, the melody has a great movement to it. You can’t help but get caught in the movement as you feel your body sway to the sound. The anger in the lyrics is multi-faceted and this shines through the vocals. It is an amazing encapsulation of the confusion that comes with the passing of someone you care about, that turns into an anger that you can’t do anything with. The complete change in sound from the opening track showcases the versatility of Asherah’s musicality.
A new feeling comes with ‘Chasm’ and the expansive feeling of the opening. While the electronic tones that fill the opening reach out, there is a darkness to them, like they are leading you into the depths of a ravine. Following the anger of the last track, this one turns to the next step of the healing process which is the seemingly unending depths of grief that threaten to drown you. The vocals have a really sad and pained feeling to them that squeezes your heart and fills you with the sorrow of the track. While the lyrics seem simple at times, they are beautiful as they express more emotion than you can imagine. The use of the vocals is fantastic as they capture the emotions with each note that takes them to new heights and inundates your senses.
The EP comes to a close with ‘More than Miles’ which brings the journey of healing to an end. The layered melodics are soft like a warm blanket being pulled over you. The lyrics are packed with imagery that leads you through the last steps of the journey of healing. Through the final steps of this journey, Asherah offers up a goodbye lullaby to her friend and faces the future with the understanding that it is okay to move on. It is a beautifully touching song that can easily bring tears to your eyes as it makes you think of the people you have lost. There is a rise in static tones throughout the track that is an interesting addition, but really works well with the release of negative emotions.
Asherah takes us on a powerful and emotional journey through loss, grief and anger, to an understanding that it is okay to move on in Ephemeral. Each track has a different feeling to it as you are drawn into the different phases of the grief process. This also showcases Asherah’s musicality and her ability to bring complex emotions to life.