Ivy Ash

About Ivy Ash

We don't yet know much about Ivy Ash.
Get in touch and we'll add some details.

Stories

"Third Degree" by Ivy Ash

Review

Following July's "Rain Again" single, the effervescent Ivy Ash is back with the fourth release of her swiftly developing career, namely "Third Degree" which comes out on next Tuesday (26th October). It's already been picked as track of the week on BBC Introducing for Leicester before it's even on sale.

Ivy was fortunate enough to receive funding from the "Developing Your Creative Practice" project of Arts Council England and "Third Degree" is the first fruit from this, as it was written   during "development and creation" time enabled by the grant.

Focusing on "discovering your boundaries, taking control, and realising how to move forward", the song takes up the baton from "Rain Again" in terms of looking at more profound topics than the jaunty tune would at first suggest: Ivy deals in feel good music but you'd be missing most of her intention if you don't listen to what she's saying and take it onboard. I'd admit that some (huge selling) pop songs sound like a good piece of music with some random words strewn over it as if it's obligatory to set lyrics but it doesn't really matter what they are. Ivy doesn't subscribe to this approach (nor to be fair do any of our other local pop artists: at least the ones we cover in this magazine). This work deserves your attention.

"Effervescent" is certainly how Ivy comes across on first acquaintance and the whole Ivy Ash music project is predicated upon a pop approach to engaging with audiences: a lightness of musical touch, regardless of deeper lyrical intent, in order to draw people into engagement. However there is a hidden infrastructure of steel holding the edifice up. You have read above that this song was planned most carefully during discrete planning time (how many artists get that opportunity) and repeated listens will gradually reveal how much thought and care has gone into every moment of "Third Degree" and then realised by immaculate production. The final commendation is that once this is all in hand, Team Ivy have left sufficient spontaneity of performance and that lightness of touch to ensure that the final result comes across as neither cynically constructed nor formulaic.

That said, "Third Degree" is a clear development of the Ivy Ash sound, moving onwards from her previous releases to give a certain tougher sound to set the defiance of what she is singing about (and the artwork, which Ivy spends a lot of time getting just right, also shows a more serious person). This is by no means an urban single, nor does the feistiness quotient make her sound too much like say Abz Winter in terms of calling anyone out, (there is a high sassiness factor in play too) but neither is "Third Degree" too much like debut single "Oops". Ivy Ash, with only three songs out there so far (though of course "Oops" also came out in an acoustic format)  has already demonstrated an admirable breadth of variety (within a carefully defined style) and this no doubt was all part of her plan. With "Oops" Ivy may well have gained new fans who liked her (and possibly fancied her): with "Third Degree" I suspect she now has their respect too.

A "…..dramatic, bold, and self-empowered.."  music video for the single is set for release in November 2021 and you can pre-save "Third Degree" ahead of Tuesday's release via this link here: https://li.sten.to/IvyAsh?fbclid=IwAR1Mq79WK8fO9kMmW-jQrskqVSAiS_OFU9XKYwBn4Ql_S47dZujY8iv5JRM

  Web      Social media   

  Share


"Rain Again" by Ivy Ash

Review

And so here we are at the third single from the irrepressible Ivy Ash, namely "Rain Again" (which is released on 2nd July) though really it's the second song we've heard so far in her career, since her debut "Oops" was followed by its acoustic twin (which also appears on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume Six') as her second single.

Please don't worry though: it absolutely proves that Ivy is neither a one hit wonder nor a one trick pony (although those of you who have followed her in her previous incarnation will know she has a significant body of work which is now slightly off stage).

"Rain Again" is far from an "Oops" part two, though it shares its infectious dance beat approach and effervescent lead performance. Instead it acts as something of a bridge between Ivy's earlier work under her name of Bethany Dyson and this new venture, touching upon the profundities of her previous lyrics while melding them successfully with a more pop sensibility. So though the tale Ivy tells has a bit more depth than with "Oops" (it's "…all about breaking bad habits and finding yourself, (focusing) on reflection and self- empowerment.."), you are free to explore it on whichever level you feel most comfortable with: and maybe delve deeper into the message after taking a break from dancing to it.

Although Ivy has cited Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga & Gwen Stefani as her primary influences, I can't help but noticing the parallels with Madonna on "Rain Again" and I like the way she shares with her the feat of balancing a processed vocal sound with the retention of the warmth & individuality of her original voice. Equally the sure footedness of the whole piece is another characteristic they share.

There is a most impressive confidence in Ivy's work: a great start to her career and no wonder her name is spreading across the music media as we speak with increasing radio plays on more & more platforms, both in this country and beyond and both Arts Council England and Help Musicians UK have been sufficiently taken with her work and ambitions to offer her grants.

The future is looking bright (and given her carefully honed image, glittering) for Ivy without yet even having played a gig in this guise: no doubt that will further ignite her trajectory.

Look out too for the accompanying video to "Rain Again" which drops on July 16th.

  Web      Social media   

  Share


"Oops" (Acoustic) by Ivy Ash

Review

I was delighted last month to describe to the debut single by Ivy Ash (the new sparkling pop persona of Bethany Dyson) called "Oops".

Now its follow up is about to land among us & to some extent it will be familiar as it's an acoustic version of "Oops"

"Oops" (Acoustic) comes out on 26th March and in its own inimitable way is as compelling as its parent track. You might very well wonder, as I initially did, whether such a dance friendly song would work as well with the instrumentation stripped back to just a piano & Ivy's voice? In fact the new single is considerably more than a new mix with fewer instruments: it is actually a fundamental reimagining of "Oops" as a ballad rather than floor filler & thus it not only works just as well (entirely on its own delightful terms) but also demonstrates how robust the crafting of the song was in the first place to permit such different workings of a single composition.

A considerably slower paced rendition brings out hitherto unimagined pathos in the song, a possibly deeper look into her own feelings and allowing Ivy to utilise the warmth & intimacy of her vocalisations familiar to those who enjoyed her work in her previous incarnation. If "Oops" helped you picture yourself out on the town in Ivy's company, its acoustic sibling evokes a night in with just her (and possibly a pianist I suppose).

There has emerged a more profound truth from amidst the possibly distracting glitter of the debut & here we have an Ivy Ash manifesto beginning to take shape. A definitely accessible pop sensibility which will attract her many fans, yet offering also a layered listener experience with heart touching sentiment to be uncovered & subtle addressing of the same humane themes she has always been interested in. A multi faceted & complex talent to be precise.

  Web      Social media   

  Share


"Oops" by Ivy Ash

Review

Back in November, I introduced you to Ivy Ash, the sensational new pop persona of Bethany Dyson. In that article I was able to make a brief mention of her planned debut single, but at that time it would have been premature to review it or indeed give you its title.

I'm pleased to report that now the wrappings have come off and I can tell you about "Oops" (as it is called) which is released today.

At the time, with limits on what I could tell you, I suggested that it was "…created with the finesse & careful craft we have come to expect from Bethany..this first offering is remarkably confident & sure footed…..

Some things remain the same: the warmth & integrity of the vocals (though they are more processed than before & pitched a little higher maybe) and the overall honesty. So what has changed? Well the subject matter is much lighter & light hearted without a doubt & Bethany/Ivy seems able to be enjoying life rather than commenting on the darker aspects of it. There is a definite air of liberation in the air, but if her phoenix burning has ignited a new flame, then I'm not sure there has necessarily been bridge burning as well: I think the new work fits in with her older material: not necessarily as a continuation, but as a complement: another side of a coin dealing with compassion & humanity & offering different narratives on our condition."

Frankly even on repeated subsequent listening, there is nothing I now regret saying nor wish to take back from those earlier comments.

I also warned you that it could "knock your socks off" at this moment, so I hope it has, though the weather may not be the best for that.

Ivy cites Kylie Minogue, Lady Gaga & Gwen Stefani as inspirations for this new direction and I think it's entirely possible to catch glimpses of them in "Oops": especially the first two: I look forwards keenly to hearing more shades of the latter in releases to come. The presence of Britney Spears of course lingers in the title & to some extent the sound. That is not to say that Ivy is doing impressions of any of these: her vocal delivery & tone is distinct but I think a totally unconcealed sense of glee in what she is doing is definitely shared between them all & that is no bad thing, especially at the moment.

Infectious, playful & as radio friendly as it is for the dance floor, "Oops" is a great love song as well, ideally timed for the eve of Valentine's Day, capturing a carefree & precipitous dive into romance with an abandon the young will recognise & the older look back on in fond remembrance. For a debut, this promises so much for us to anticipate in Ivy's career… Viva Ivy Ash.

  Web      Social media   

  Share


Introducing Ivy Ash

Feature

It's been a few months since I reviewed "Open Your Eyes" by Bethany Dyson in the magazine  the follow-up to "Just You & Me" which also features on ‘Hot Music Live Presents Volume 3') but given the circumstances currently afflicting artists, I was not surprised that she had not released anything since late May: if you recollect from previous reviews, you'll  know what a stellar team Bethany works with & it must currently be next to impossible to assemble them in a studio.

However in the best tradition of original artists, she has in fact been working discreetly away at a bit of a career paradigm shift, something which completely caught me wrongfooted & that's what I like.

Bethany has decided on a whole raft of changes, the two most obvious of which are a change of performance name to "Ivy Ash" and a switch of genre to a much more pop orientated style: "channelling my inner Kylie"  as she put it to me. (Ivy also cites Lady Gaga & Gwen Stefani as inspirations and the (redacted) title of her planned first release offers a nod to yet another very well known pop purveyor). The new name is highly significant too (while sounding on the surface good & grounded): for the initial element, picture if you will rapid upward growth & for the second, think more of phoenixes & rebirthing.

Much as I look forwards to reviewing her debut single in this new stage of her career, that remains something for 2021 (I honestly can't recommend anyone attempting to promote such an important sea change right now) but I have had the privilege of hearing it & can prewarn you that it will knock those socks off you when you can do so yourselves.

Created with the finesse & careful craft we have come to expect from Bethany (if the musicians are not those who have been playing with her recently, and the sound suggests they are not, then the quality of this aspect is high as ever) this first offering is remarkably confident & sure footed.

Some things remain the same: the warmth & integrity of the vocals (though they are more processed than before & pitched a little higher maybe) and the overall honesty. So what has changed? Well the subject matter is much lighter & light hearted without a doubt & Bethany/Ivy seems able to be enjoying life rather than commenting on the darker aspects of it. There is a definite air of liberation in the air, but if her phoenix burning has ignited a new flame, then I'm not sure there has necessarily been bridge burning as well: I think the new work fits in with her older material: not necessarily as a continuation, but as a complement: another side of a coin dealing with compassion & humanity & offering different narratives on our condition.

These are exciting times for this artist & I look forward to being able to share with you in greater detail in due course & naturally await Ivy's debut release & live performances. Watch this space: particularly https://ivyashmusic.com

  Web      Social media   

  Share