Review: "Death of Me" - Ashley Elle
In her song “Death of Me,” Ashley Elle details her anxieties that come with change and an underlying fear of failure amidst the chaos of everyday life. The lyrics are intimate and vulnerable, detailing how she’s trying her best, but chasing her dreams is difficult and is taking its toll. She acknowledges the changes she’s going through, saying she cut her hair and “dyed it blond” as well as “signed a lease” in a new city in the first verse, but despite her attempts to exert control over everyday life, she’s anxious and lonely. She says she goes to a “therapist to keep me calm,” but she’s still struggling, and doesn’t feel like she’s built to handle the adversity that she constantly faces. This leads to the chorus where she potently bottles her emotions in the phrase “The city’s gonna be the death of me,” confessing to the listener that while she’s trying her best, her pursuit of success is taking its toll. Yet, despite the harsh reality of this new city and new life, she expresses hope, saying she’s still young and if she plays her cards right, she might “make it out alive,” adding a hopeful tone to otherwise a melancholic sound, capturing the dichotomy of her emotions of both fear and hope.
The song begins with a soft, acoustic sound. Gentle guitar strums lay the background for her vocals, allowing her lyrics to shine through. Elle confesses her struggles to the listener, and the production builds as the song approaches the chorus, after which only a soft pulsing beat and piano accompanies her vocals. The stripped down chorus makes the song feel more intimate, and I felt like I was reading a diary entry. After the chorus, the production kicks in full force, with what sounds like an electric guitar trailing behind in the background accentuating her sentences. The second chorus feels cathartic with the added production, building up to the line “Take it easy on me." Elle is pleading and desperate, and the added production in the second chorus adds to the volatility of her emotions. The feeling of panic one gets when their life is changing is real and relatable, and “Death of Me” feels like an assurance to the listener that they’re not alone in feeling this way. Addressing that your current circumstances are difficult is not giving up, it’s part of the growth process, and Elle bravely achieves this by opening up the way she did.
Ashley Elle's early passion for music, though initially humble and shy, blossomed when her dad encouraged her to record in a studio, revealing her true passion. She delved into the songwriting process, emphasizing authenticity in her music, which quickly caught the attention of industry professionals who worked with her to refine her indie pop sound. Her music centers on themes of heartbreak, love, maturation, and mental health, drawing from her personal experiences. Ashley values the connection and self-expression music provides, embracing vulnerability as a songwriter. In 2019, her dedication paid off as she signed a publishing deal with Given Entertainment in Nashville, continuing to pour her heart and soul into her ever-evolving catalog of songs.
Written By Rachael Bach