ASHS - Paranoid
This new cut from hit singer/songwriter Alyssa Reid matches electro-pop stylings and hip-hop tinged production to compelling effect.
By Kerry Doole
ASHS - Paranoid (Wax Records/Republic Records/UMC): On her record label website, ASHS has been described as "a mysterious pop act who has emerged from Toronto’s underground music scene, bringing with her a fresh and eclectic sound that has garnered the praise of music influencers from around the globe. In an era of fake accounts, fake looks, and fake news, this young artist prefers to deviate from her peers, avoiding the spotlight and letting her music speak for itself."
The cloak of anonymity has now been dropped, and the true identity of ASHS revealed.. This is the new project of Alyssa Reid, not some unknown youngster emerging from the basement, but an established pop artist with a track record of platinum-sellng success.
She released a couple of previous EPs incognito, and she states that the new single, Paranoid, "perfectly introduces the next phase of my project. I wanted to experiment with hitting a little harder both musically and lyrically. Paranoid gives an audible sneak peek into my subconscious, encapsulating the feelings of anxiety and mistrust in the people around me.”
On the track, Reid explores a darker side, probing the tension in a dysfunctional relationship: "We just smile while we bury all our demons in our closet .. I’m not paranoid I’m just aware." Her electro-accented pop is framed by a production featuring booming bass and hip-hop tinges, and the vocal performance is strong. At 2.41, the cut makes its point concisely.
ASHS is the latest intriguing twist in Reid's career. Over the past few years, the 26-year-old artist has been honing her craft as a songwriter for artists like Bulow (Not A Love Song) and Virginia to Vegas (Selfish).
Reid released her solo debut album, The Game, in 2011. The single Alone Again reached No. 2 on the UK charts in 2012, and helped her earn a Juno nominaton for Best New Artist that year.