Kiya Ashton – Sweet Decadence EP

Kiya Ashton - Sweet Decadence EP - coverOver the last couple of years Kiya Ashton has gone from attending the shows organised by Sound Guernsey to being one of the most interesting performers at them.

As well as this she has appeared at both Chaos and the Vale Earth Fair while becoming a recognisable member of the School Of Popular Music‘s ensemble of young performers.

With all of this in mind she became the first recipient of Sound Guernsey’s new recording grant and has used that to create an EP of her original music with Mikey Ferbrache and Peter Mitchell of Apocalypse Studios.

If you’ve had the chance to hear Kiya live you’ll largely know what to expect here and, from the opening of title track Sweet Decadence, her dark and atmospheric folk-ish acoustic rock is in full effect.

Reminiscent of Evanesence’s less nu-metal moments, amongst others, a real triumph is how she never quite slips into the moody histrionics demonstrated by that band and others of their ilk, instead finding a nice balance between the teenage goth aesthetic and the folkier side.

Kiya Ashton
Kiya Ashton

This is clearly influenced by some of the music she will have absorbed growing up (coming from a musical family where her mother sings in a folk duo and her uncle is one of the island’s most recognisable rock and metal frontmen).

Along with that, while her songs are clearly deeply personal they transcend this somewhat, being engaging to a general listener as well.

On top of Kiya’s acoustic originals the guys at Apocalypse have added their own production flourishes and, thankfully, have done so in a way that compliments the songs rather than being overwhelming.

For the most part this involves more subtle additions and, at one point, in second track A Lie it almost becomes reminiscent of some of Stevie Nicks sounds.

EP closer Freedom has the most obvious extended production with big guitars and drums thrown in but again in a way that suits the song, even if it ends slightly disappointingly, on an extended fade out that leaves the feeling that there was something else to come.

Kiya Ashton
Kiya playing on Liberation Day

In all, for a songwriter and performer as young as Kiya this is a tremendous debut with songs that stand on their own and are only enhanced by the production.

That said it’s still clear that there’s a lot of room for growth giving this EP the feeling of a great starting point and leaving me looking forward for what more is to come.

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