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  • Andy Mockbee

Review: "Anyway" - Landan Ash

"You always laughed at all of my jokes," singer-songwriter Landan Ash sings on the chorus of his latest single, "Anyway." In the wake of a breakup, these moments render as stinging reminders. "You sure knew how to put on a show," he winces. Gentle, whirring synths, muted guitar, and layers of Ash's vocals all blend into a fountain of midnight blues. The LA-based artist writes with stunning intimacy, as though listeners are eavesdropping on a private conversation. With a marvelous, reverb-soaked guitar solo in place of a bridge, "Anyway" expresses the pain of memory like watching a fuzzy home video. The impression is still vivid and palpable, but nonetheless unreachable.

It's fascinating to dissect the hints and details Ash decorates his lyricism with. What we learn about the ex-boyfriend he addresses in "Anyway" are the false perceptions the singer-songwriter held of him. "I thought you were a gentleman, but gentle men don't make me feel torn," reads the song's more scathing takedowns (and clever wordplay). Blanketed in background layers of his gentle falsetto, Ash's vocals sounds almost ethereal — illuminating the darkness of the moody instrumentation. "Like we never happened anyway," he repeats on the second chorus. The LA musician lets the last word linger before the bridge sets in, as though he himself is contemplating what it might be like to pretend their relationship never happened.

Since his first release, Landan Ash has brought confessional lyricism and vivid sound to his original music. Sharing his experience with love as a queer man, Ash commits to lyricism like diary entries: shedding light on the inner workings of heartbreak, grief, love, and connection. "Anyway" is his fourth official single, and second single of 2024. In January, the singer-songwriter kicked off the year with the melancholic, "Different." While Landan Ash first released his debut single, "Quicksand," in 2020, he considers the start to his career as a singer/songwriter to be in 2023, when he began his consistent output of music.

Written By Andy M.

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