Pull & Repel
Ashen began as an instrumental trio in 1996, as long-time friends Benjamin Cenis, Kelly Guinn, and B.J. Hale came together to put their own spin on the 'shoegazing' genre with their blend of textured, melodic pieces. A couple of years later, the trio felt the need to add a vocalist, and Erin Akemi was brought into the mix. The band has now been transformed into a powerhouse which bridges the gap between trailblazers like Swervedriver and the Cure, and more modern indie bands like Jejune and Sarge. In 1999, the band released it's first single, a split 12' which featured two Ashen songs. The band followed that up with a quick tour of the mid-Atlantic and mid-West area, then returned to the studio to finish it's brilliant full-length release, No Other Comfort. Zac Carlson joined the band in early 2001, as B.J. left to focus on his career. Zac had previously played in outfits Autumn Cotillion and For the Life of Me. Having originally passed on auditioning due to time and school constraints, Zac was delighted to learn that the position was still open once No Other Comfort was released, and officially joined the band in January 2001. After a long layoff between records, which saw the band undergo a lineup change, do a couple of tours, and survive a harrowing, death-cheating tour accident, Ashen finally returned to the studio in February 2003 to commit five new songs to celluloid. With the five songs already exceeding the 30-minute mark, the band chose to put the songs out as an EP. On Pull and Repel, you'll find the same delicate vocals and dynamic sonic sound shifts that have come to define Ashen. You'll also find a band that's trying to experiment with new sounds and textures, finding that things like acoustic guitars and autoharps can complement the band's aural trademark.