unabashedly name-checks influences.
used to create a scene, now you read all about it.”
goes the opening line of “Gin and Panic,” the second
track from Corin Ashley’s “Songs from the Brill Bedroom.”
someone who has resigned himself, he’s created the record
of his career.
Pills bassist/singer’s first solo
foray is chock-full of classic-pop references, from the title’s
nod to the collaborative songwriting enclave that put out hit
after hit in the 1960s to the George Martin-style strings to
the Howard Tate album art. Roy Orbison gets canonized in a gorgeous four-minute
love lilt and Harry Nilsson’s “Daddy’s Song” closes
the 14-track disc.
I was saying I’m going to get a T-shirt that says, ‘It’s
not a rip-off, it’s an homage,’” Ashley offers
at the mention of all the sonic winks and nudges.
continues over dinner at the Independent in Inman Square: “In
the past I used to blur or obfuscate those influences — to
some degree of success, I always seemed to get nailed on them
anyway. But with
this one, I consider this
like Brill Building approach to songwriting. Ya know, like, ‘We
need a B-side for Leslie Gore by noon tomorrow. Go!’”
home-recorded, the mood is easy yet ambitious, and slightly
imperfect. If the vocal take wasn’t spot on, it didn’t
matter — it
wanted to keep it really natural,” says Ashley.
songwriting was a solo endeavor, but old friends act as the band.
Former Shods and Pills guitarist Dave
the Dirty Ticket threesome won’t
be venturing any farther than the proverbial backyard. “Touring” and “signing” are
being filed under resignation: “I’m constantly
trying to remove ambition from my music. Ambition is
He’s laughing but he’s
don’t want to have to call in any favors or use my ‘so-called’ connections.
I think I have a good album and I just want to get
it to people who’d