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Ashley Miers | Dark Side

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Pop: Pop/Rock Electronic: Pop Crossover Moods: Mood: Brooding
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Dark Side

by Ashley Miers

Edgy, entrancing, and melodic pop/rock, edm/pop that takes listeners for a reflective, fun, and insightful lyrical ride.
Genre: Pop: Pop/Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Dark Side
3:25 $0.99
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2. Lunar Eyes
4:18 $0.99
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3. Paint It Black
4:44 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
"Ashley Miers is a very talented, hard-working songwriter. She brings energy, taste and creativity to everything she does. Her songs are fresh and resourceful and always worth a listen." - Composer Charles Bernstein ("Kill Bill", "A Nightmare on Elm Street")

Since launching her career with her debut album Aftershock in 2010, Ashley Miers has beautifully defied the convention that indie artists, in their quest for mainstream appeal, should hone in early on a specific musical niche or stick to the status quo writing love songs.

Learning to embrace her deepest truths without compromise, the Lincoln, Nebraska bred, Los Angeles based singer/songwriter has drawn on a multitude of musical influences – folk, dance, country, rock and acoustic/Americana – and her own struggles and survival to craft infectious, heartfelt and self-reflective pop songs that touch on overcoming addiction, coping with loss (of herself and loved ones) and painful emotions. Fully exploring her EDM/pop side for the first time, Ashley’s new EP Dark Side includes two hypnotically engaging originals (the title track and “Lunar Eyes”) and an exotic, dance floor ready twist on The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black.” It was produced by Gary Miller, whose credits include legendary artists David Bowie, Lionel Richie, George Michael, Donna Summer and Kylie Minogue.

The emotional core of the project is “Dark Side,” a haunting ballad whose lyrics include the lines: “They say find what you love/And let it kill you/But I don’t wanna die like this…Don’t make me lose you again/This is a fight nobody wins.” Ashley is currently working on a music video for the track and is, in conjunction with the release of the EP in late March 2017, lining up college speaking engagements about mental health. Speaking from a perspective of having renewed hope now in her life, she will be sharing her powerful history as a person diagnosed with bipolar disorder, who has suffered from depression, battled drug abuse and attempted suicide during her darkest times.

Both in her music and public speaking, Ashley’s goal is to connect with audiences that resonate with the messages of hope infused in her music, and to inspire people who have faced similar challenges to persevere and look for the silver linings and the light in their lives. She credits a lot of her ability to be bold and real in sharing her hopes, fears and struggles – and her desire to be an example to others – to one of her chief influences, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and particularly, lead singer Anthony Kiedis, who was unabashed in sharing his early struggles with drug addiction. She was able to meet Kiedis after striking up an online friendship with his father, actor Blackie Dammett, who was longtime president of the RHCP fan club. Dammett took a special interest in Ashley’s intellect, corresponding with her about Aldous Huxley and conversing about life and philosophy. Ashley went on to attend RHCP concerts backstage in Denver, Detroit, and Chicago. “It was a turning point in my life, for sure,” she says. “Anthony’s unapologetic self-expression reassured me when I felt shut down as a teenager. Coming out of that, receiving attention and being able to spend time with icons I respected and admired - in a very wholesome way - validated in me a deep sense of worthiness - that I had something special to offer, and the people I saw so much value in saw value in me as well. That experience was powerful, and I don’t take the power we have as artists to influence and uplift others for granted because of it.”

“In many ways, I feel music saved my life,” Ashley continues. “I want people to experience renewed hope in life, and see the bigger picture while choosing not to give up on engaging with the world. “The song ‘Dark Side’ is representative of that. People who hear it for the first time often think it’s a relationship song, but it’s really about losing yourself. The EP has a lot to do with me sharing my thoughts on the importance of remaining true to yourself and having the courage to do that. Sonically, ‘Lunar Eyes’ is a bit more edgy, fun and engaging, but it’s also a pretty deep meditation about God and death and our relationship to Universal forces that are more powerful than we are. It’s an existential look at how limited our time is here and what we’re going to do with it – and about rebelling against our own mortality.”

Ashley originally crossed paths with Gary Miller when a mutual singer friend, Patrick Stone, invited her to play acoustic sets in between longer sets by a jam band fronted by Miller at Ollie’s Duck and Dive in Malibu. Later, when she was seeking the perfect producer to take her songs to the next sonic level, she asked her friend Nitanee Paris for a suggestion – and Paris suggested Miller. When Ashley first walked into Miller’s studio, he laughed ‘Oh, it’s you!’ Despite sharing the stage many times, the two realized they had never spoken to each other in depth. They quickly made up for lost time and bonded over her project.

“I feel like I’ve grown a lot musically since Aftershock, in terms of being a stronger songwriter, arranger and producer,” Ashley says. “With Gary’s talents in the mix, I was able to develop even further from where I first started. Dark Side offers a more expansive perspective than that first album and (her 2014 full length) Seeing Stars, but in some ways taps into the emotional elements of both those previous works. Aftershock was a dark album I wrote about coming out of my troubled teenage and college years, and had songs about being lost and using music to seek a way out of the darkness. On Seeing Stars, I felt like I had come through a lot of that, and it had a more hopeful and happy tone. Dark Side is like a mix of the two, almost like I have seen the light and the way out, and now want to address the fact that I’ve been in those terrible places but now I have so much more to live for.”

Ashley has fond musical memories of her early years in Lincoln, Nebraska, where her grandparents owned a famous nightclub called The Royal Grove, which was inducted into the Nebraska Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. She started piano lessons at age four and picked up the guitar soon thereafter. Hearing music and lyrics in her head, she would mess around on the guitar until she found the chord that matched what she was hearing. She practiced almost obsessively, never satisfied until she could perform her ideas with the precision and accuracy she could hear them with clairaudiently.

While enrolled at the University of Denver with majors in both philosophy and psychology (with an emphasis in cognitive neuroscience) and minors in biology and communication, Ashley took an electronic music class that utilized a music software program called Acid. “For the rest of my college years,” she muses, “I was late to many of my classes because I was always in my dorm room playing guitar, writing songs and learning software.” While still in college, she signed up with the Donna Baldwin Talent Agency to do modeling and acting, then after graduating moved to L.A. to pursue acting - all while working on honing her songwriting behind the scenes. One night at a party that included many guests from the music industry, Ashley’s then boyfriend “outed” her as a songwriter – which led her to participate in Grammy nominated songwriter Harriet Schock’s monthly songwriter’s showcase events.

A successful open mic performance at the Pig N’ Whistle in Hollywood opened the doors to an official booking there, and soon she was booking gigs at a variety of L.A. hotspots, including the House of Blues, Room 5, The Viper Room, The Derby and Kulak’s Woodshed. She has also performed at the Mental Health America Conference. Over the years, her licensing/placements have included her song “Tangled” being featured on the ABC Family show “Make It Or Break It,” and others being used by Mental Health America. In addition, she created two original songs used in philanthropic campaigns by the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, and “Lunar Eyes” has already been picked up to play in Abercrombie & Fitch stores.

“I struggled for many years with the feeling that I was somehow unacceptable, like I didn’t want to allow myself to show up and share my music with people,” Ashley says. “Once I broke through the darkness, I have had a strong yearning to be heard and share what I have to say without feeling I have to apologize for it. I want other people to feel the way I feel, the way my body and soul feel when I play or listen to music. If I can see just one person’s eyes light up, it’s the most amazing feeling in the world. I know they connect. I know they understand. It’s such a beautiful thing, getting to paint with sound and vibration and create this harmonic spiritual resonance that we feel at the core of our being. What could be more magical than that? When I listen to Dark Side - or any of my music - its truth reminds me of who I am. Whenever I start to feel untethered and unanchored, I can come back to music as a reflection of who I am at my core and in my heart. From there, I always know which way to go.”

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