ASHERAH is the electronic pop alias of Miami-based singer, songwriter, producer, and composer, Ariel Morer. Her work with local Miami electronic acts paved the way for her invitation to perform with them at festivals like III Points alongside preeminent artists such as M83, Flying Lotus, the late SOPHIE, Denzel Curry, and Oneohtrix Point Never. In addition, it led to her opening for acts like The Radio Dept.
Now here with her debut E.P, we get the opportunity to take in the hype that surrounds this up-and-coming starlet for ourselves. Produced in collaboration with left-field electronic music composer, Medulasa, ASHERAH's latest collection of songs on "Ephemeral" is a coalescence of unexpected creative forces telling a highly personal tale of the grief process through a collaborative effort detailing the grief process of losing a close friend.
Delving into the introductory track heard on "Ephemeral," the tantalizing essence of "River" graces our speakers. With airy synths that form an atmosphere of elusive notions, the intensity of this record begins to progress through the production elements introduced. As the tempo rises, so does our anticipation. ASHERAH emits an angelic vocalization that's smothered in reverb ricocheting in our minds as we absorb each mystical word crooned. It's safe to say that "River" opens our sonic appetite for the rest of "Ephemeral," unraveling the intricate soundscape one note at a time.
Reaching the second song title "Holy," we find ourselves in an atmosphere that radiates in effervescent hues. There's a buoyant synergy running through your speakers as the intoxicating bliss that is ASHERAH's profound storytelling is reiterated in a truly captivating way. Her inimitable timbres charge our energy through the harmonies before our eyes. There's something so magical to how ASHERAH becomes one with the instrumentation. Upon every impactful percussion pattern, you feel her words punch as they unite with pure passion, and as the song comes to its final note, you immediately begin to miss the warmth ASHERAH conveys.
"Chasm" comes in at third on the tracklist and slows the tempo down to pull us into a more profound depth heard in the message ASHERAH transmits. As our minds fill with the beauty of her wide vocal range, we get transported to the atmospheric realm of curiosity blended with emotional tenors. We love how ASHERAH's emphasis in this song is that of a more melancholy feel. Grasping onto the minimal yet impactful lyrics she professes, along with the vocal layers of a true goddess, we hear just how robust the musical foundation that Medulasa brings to life is.
As we reach the final track, "More Than Miles," our hearts open even more to take in the emotion-evoking lyrical motifs heard in this particular song. ASHERAH takes a more intimate approach to her vocals as they tiptoe into this piece and flutter around in a charismatic fashion. Within each word carefully crafted, a vulnerable artist is telling her story in a meaningful manner. ASHERAH has conveyed numerous sides of her artistry as we go through each song placed on "Ephemeral." Having us leave with what we deem one of her most heartrending tracks has us ready to put this E.P on repeat and study every sonic inch of this poignant and thought-provoking electro-pop masterpiece.
Congratulations on the release of your debut E.P. "Ephemeral." We would love it if you could pull us into your mind for a moment and go into detail about the concept of this body of work. What does "Ephemeral" mean to you?
I was stuck between naming the record Ephemeral or Eternal for a while. Two opposites but both concepts that I felt made sense in the context of the E.P. "Ephemeral" because we are here in this body, in this life, for only a moment. Even if you believe in reincarnation or that the soul persists, we hold these earthly identities so briefly. You'll never have the same experience twice. I considered "Eternal" because I believe I will find my friend (and album muse) again across lifetimes but ultimately went with Ephemeral because his time here was so short.
In terms of the messages and emotions conveyed, what are you hoping your audience takes away from this E.P.?
I think one of the best things about music is that it'll never mean the same thing to everyone. For me, Ephemeral was my grief therapy for the loss of my friend. I wanted these four songs to each detail different aspects of his passing. River was written as a metaphor for addiction. Holy was my anger and confusion. Chasm was the most difficult to finish because I kept crying during the vocal takes. It was the farthest depths of my grief and drowning in my new reality. More Than Miles is a goodbye lullaby giving both him and me the okay to move on. A lot of the imagery in it is very literal because I traveled a lot after his passing just to get away from all the places that reminded me of him, to try to get out of my head. I physically went to "mountains, valleys, and seas" to be held by nature and escape the profound loss, but I think I looked for him there too. It was also important to me that something positive came out of this, so I decided to donate all of Ephemeral's Bandcamp proceeds to a local harm reduction organization (https://www.rebelrecoveryfl.com/).
Do you happen to have a favorite song on the tracklist? What's your reasoning behind this?
Chasm is hands down my favorite piece I've written, both on the E.P. and since I started writing music. Lyrically it's incredibly simple, but my feelings were expressed more through the note choices and repetitiveness of the choral sections. I wanted it to feel a little too long in parts because that's how my grief felt. The way it builds, crescendos, and dies down to a whisper is how it felt to lose this person who meant so much to me. I feel Medulasa, and I really captured the exasperation and exhaustion that comes with mourning the loss of a loved one. My boyfriend also suggested that I sample my friend's voice in the song, so the muffled talking you hear around 1:50 is him playing with his cats, whom he loved. I love that I have a piece of him in the song that feels almost tangible.
What has been the best advice you've been given through your music career thus far?
Honestly? It was to learn to produce. Learn to use a DAW functionally. I'm still a beginner when it comes to the production and engineering side of things, but it's already opened so many doors not having to rely on a producer to record at their studio. In this day and age, you have to be able to hold your own on that front. Especially being a woman.
What's next for you?
There's so much pressure to keep up a consistent stream of "content," and I think right now, I just want to take things a day at a time. I have some prospective singles I'd love to put out before the end of the year and a couple of collaborations in the vault, but the latter are beyond my control. But I actually recently befriended a producer whose music I'm obsessed with, so there might be something fun out in the not-too-distant future.