If you’ve been around the Niagara music scene, you’ve probably run into Ashlee Standish. She’s a multi-instrumental musician, songwriter, stage manager, and festival co-ordinator, among other things. “I’ve been in a few bands: Rod Standish Band, Awesome Sauce, and Perpetual Peace Project,” said Standish, “this is my first time releasing my own music. It feels very comfortable and it feels like I’m doing what I should be doing.”
The soon to be released four song EP, Alchemy, was recorded with Joe Lapinski at his pop up studio in Oddfellows Lodge. “He had an upright piano in the middle of the room,” said Standish, “and he had really cool curtains and lamps all around, it was a really nice ambiance. It was a very enjoyable experience; I really liked working with Joe.”
Standish contributes piano, vocals, and cello to the project, while enlisting help from local musicians, Danielle Marconi (violin) and Phil Bosley (percussion) to round out the tracks.
According to Standish her first solo release strikes a very personal chord, “Most of it was written after I separated from my husband. The songs are very deep and emotional and the album is called Alchemy because I look at it like I turned pain into gold or pain into art. After I made the decision to leave, I needed to purge my emotions, so I did it through music.”
Even as she mused about a follow-up full length album, Standish added “the EP is kind of like a story, it definitely makes you feel, some have called it dark, but ultimately there is light in it and I like to think it comes full circle.”
Alchemy will be released May 27 at Warehouse in St. Catharines with Rose Cora Perry & the Truth Untold and Zack Tiessen.