Tinged with melancholy and underpinned by gentle electronica, ‘The Subtle Sting Of Change’ contains 10 songs of beautiful introspection revealing a more sensitive soul than those who have witnessed him beating seven shades of whatever out of the ATC drum kit might expect.
‘The Subtle Sting Of Change’ blends a traditional acoustic, singer / songwriter approach with something distinctly more modern; a subtle mix of experimental, glitch, down-beat, minimal electronica producing and end result that pushes the boundaries of multiple genres while at the same time being eminently listenable.
|Ash in ATC- Oli Montez|
The album is almost a concept album about change itself; the natural progression from previous Mender work to this more song-orientated style parallels the personal changes that occurred in his life, such as becoming somebody’s husband, somebody’s dad or somebody’s teacher. But its not just about change. Its also about the constant. That he is still himself despite the roles he has taken on in life, similarly, the album moves through change yet retains its sonic motifs and develops rather than deforms.
Mender live performances take on an unconventional format often revolving around some kind of audio-visual collaboration. Ash’s next performance will feature Derby-based electronic artist o_S_k_m (aka Pictographik) on a re-scoring of Fritz Lang’s seminal Sci Fi film ‘Metropolis’ that will be performed live on February 11th at The Quad in Derby.
The second full length album ‘ The Subtle Sting Of Change’ was officially released 20th February, since then it’s reception has only gone from strength to strength.
The follow up to 2010’s debut ‘The Happy Medium’ proves only a positive and forcible step forward for Mender.
This 10 track album resonates in maturity proving Mender’s ability to fuse and hold down various elements of several genres and create a tendency of his own. A simply prosperous record, offering an easy flow from one composition to the next, 10 confident creations making one strong and vivacious release.
Ash recently spoke to Hatchd Magazine explaining the inspiration behind the record-
” As with every release, the songs tend to pick each other. For the past 3 years I’ve been writing non-stop and every so often, some songs seem to fit together and have a commonality or theme. This collection of songs have all come about at a significant point in my life where I’m battling with change and holding on to the constants. In short, I’m getting older and my responsibilities are shifting. That need for change creeps up on you I think and yet it is rarely painless, hence the ‘sting’.” – read more from his interview with Hatchd here