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Ashlyn Uribe Wears Her “String of Pearls” In Emotional Debut EP

From Charlotte, NC, indie pop artist and gifted singer-songwriter Ashlyn Uribe releases her most vulnerable work yet, a 5-track EP titled String of Pearls. It's destined to resonate with any listener.

Created in collaboration with producer and boyfriend Michael Finster, this EP deviates from Uribe's comfort zone, blending lullaby-like acoustics with powerful ballads. Using her trauma and healing as leverage, she's embarking on a journey of forgiveness and acceptance with string of pearls and hopes that listeners will join her for the ride.

I'm unsure if it's the day, the mood, or Ashlyn Uribe's delicate vocals and serene acoustic guitar playing that nearly brought me to tears, but it doesn't take long for the intro track, "Sylvia," to settle in. It's a stunning introductory track that sees Ashlyn Uribe pealing back personal layers to reveal the trials and tribulations with loved ones, memories, and dreams of her mother and recalling her wisdom to channel it in the present day. 

The emotional experience continues with track number two, "Peter Rabbit," where Ashlyn Uribe opens the song with tender piano melodies and deeply nostalgic lyrics. As she recalls being obsessed with Peter Rabbit and the many home videos, Vibe realizes that although she might be riddled with nostalgia, those childhood moments formed her into the woman she is today, a 27-year-old who's finally starting to accept that change is okay.

Landing on the EP's third track and "idlewild interlude," we hear what sounds like a home video being pushed into a VCR, where a subtle hint of children's laughter meets the speakers. As the train horn sounds and the synth melodies cascade, this Lana Del Rey-esque interlude blesses us with all the sonic introspection we could ask for.

Moving onto track number four, "Heat Lightning," Ashlyn Uribe continues the emotional theme with a slice of her internal stressors. She feels like she's taking one step forward and four steps backward, building a home only to tear it down. While feeling distant from herself and who she once was, Uribe realizes that now, she's only able to see with help from heat lightning. It's a tribute to the turbulent nature of life's struggles and how easily we can fall to pieces.

Reaching the EP's title and outro track, "string of pearls," Ashlyn Uribe greets us with a tender piano ballad while expressing her knack for romanticizing things that shouldn't be romantic. But, she makes a profound realization that what may look like the end of the world always seems to turn into a "string of pearls," something she can own, be proud of, and wear on her sleeve. It's a crucial reminder to anyone struggling that these open wounds will someday turn into battle scars.

If Ashlyn Uribe has made anything clear, she knows how to write songs that bring listeners to tears. Her debut EP, string of pearls, is a prime example. Experience it yourself and find Ashlyn Uribe's newest release on all digital streaming platforms.

Welcome to Buzz, Ashlyn! Your debut EP, string of pearls, provides an emotional experience. What moments or experiences inspired you to create this cathartic project?

I'm so glad you used the word cathartic because that is exactly what creating this project was for me. string of pearls was born out of my unignorable desire to revisit my childhood, unpack those bags, sort of out in the open, and heal in a way that only making music can do for me. For so long, especially before therapy, I could never understand why I have this aching nostalgia for the earliest parts of my childhood, and I now know it's because they were the safest. They were my truest, rawest, most hopeful & unfiltered years, and then tragedy bred trauma, and I was diluted. The idea was that this EP would not be one note, that it would be nuanced and even juxtaposing emotionally in some ways because that's what it feels like to have childhood trauma, at least in my experience. There are almost too many to name, but some of the moments that inspired these songs ranged from sweet springtime memories with my family at age 5 to nighttime in the early 2000s, listening to the crickets and train whistles and talking to my sister from my bedroom across the hall. All was intended to paint a picture and tell a story, my story, and where it's landed me today.

What was your experience working alongside producer and boyfriend Micheal Finster when creating string of pearls? How did he help bring your vision to life?

Oh god, it was a dream. And I don't say that lightly. Michael Finster, who, fun fact, is now my fianceé, is the most brilliantly creative yet analytical mind I know. We met and connected through songwriting when I began working on my first single with him in 2019. Since day one, he has always read my mind. We communicate so thoroughly and honestly, and he has, pretty much singlehandedly, helped me break down my fear of coming up with lyrics and ideas on the spot in front of someone. The way my visions and concepts so easily latch onto his integrative and detailed production is just...lightning in a bottle to me. It's beautiful. He has been there for every story, every emotional breakdown and unraveling of me, up to and including the late nights we spent creating this body of work. Couldn't be more in awe of him and of us.

What do you hope listeners feel when hearing your debut EP, string of pearls? What do you want them to experience and take away?

As I'm so grateful you noted, I want my listeners to feel this project's catharsis both sonically and lyrically. It is not a smooth ride revisiting any sort of heartache or trauma, let alone childhood ones on the cusp of your most formative years; it's hairy and takes a lot of unlearning & detangling, but it is necessary, I believe. And that's where that juxtaposition comes in because many of these topics aren't usually gentle by nature...but I wanted a lot of the music to be. It is an isolating thing to discover that the things and people you've trusted the most and that once brought you comfort are the ones to sometimes screw you up in the heaviest ways. At the crux of it all, I just wanted to give others the space to share their stories, no matter how dark or confusing, with others through my vulnerability. One of the biggest themes in this EP is forgiveness for yourself. So, I also wanted to show listeners that simply sharing your story and your truth can lead you to a newer, sounder peace of mind.

How is string of pearls different from your previous releases? What made you want to experiment with lullaby-like acoustics and powerful ballads?

string of pearls is absolutely different than my previous releases; I joked at my release show that "I'm still a pop b*tch, so don't worry," lol. But this being my 29th year, Saturn return, and second year of sobriety, I was in a much more spiritual, reflective place and could almost only pump out ballads! I am proud of myself for allowing myself the space and range to experiment with a genre and sound I have always wanted to work within, but for a moment, I thought I just couldn't. I think the sound alone on this EP is so scenic and vivid that it was necessary as a vehicle for the stories and imagery.

Which song from string of pearls means the most to you and why? What makes that song so special to you?

Cliché answer: I know, but this is such a tough question. While I can't truly name a 'favorite', I can say that "string of pearls" is probably the most special because it was the buzzer beater. We finished and mastered that song a week before release day; it is also Michael's favorite track! I almost didn't think my concept and songwriting for it was strong enough to make it onto the tracklist, but it ended up being the name of the whole thing and the most gorgeous sigh of relief to conclude the EP. I describe it as feeling like you're standing on the edge of a boardwalk or maybe a big rock on a shore and feeling the waves break against it and land as mist on your face. No joke, that was the vibe. The song is about not being defined by the things that have happened to you and how, again, forgiveness is for you first. I love the powerful yet gentle resolution it brings after the heavy storm of emotions that precedes it. I could not have imagined a more fitting final track.


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