Track x Track: Ash Digs - Tapes Of You
West Aussie musical chameleon takes us through his captivating & intimate new EP of diverse downtempo sounds
Image credit: Duncan Wright
Following a pair of emotional and engaging singles, Boorloo-based singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ash Digs has reached the next chapter of his cosmic musical journey, with the release of his new EP Tapes of You, out today.
Tapes of You is a landmark moment for Ash Digs AKA Ash Hosken, who for over a decade has established himself as a favourite of the local scene through his work as Diger Rokwell, with a slew of acclaimed releases under his belt as well as being a fixture on stages all around town.
Now moving away from the sample-heavy spacey beats of Diger, the Ash Digs project focuses more on songwriting and instrumentation, and most notably Ash writing and singing vocals for the first time.
With elements of everything from indie and alt-rock to folk and blues mixed with the psychedelic beat-oriented productions and low slung electronica of his past, Ash Digs has crafted an EP that’s as texturally dynamic and interesting as it is spiritually rousing and touching.
While not a concept record, the EP does broadly explore the five stages of grief across its five tracks through a truthful and honest lens, with Ash finding his voice both literally and metaphorically as he bares his soul to tape.
To find out more about Tapes of You, Ash has taken us through the EP track by track - have a listen and get to know below!
Tapes of You
The track is about the denial of loss, and the hope that one day you will see that person again. It is a song that I wrote about the passing of my mum. I later added lyrics into the track about my dad's experience and the divine similarities, symbolism and timing between the loss of my mum and dad. It also explores the notion of lineage and how we can keep memories alive.
All Dressed Up
This track is about anger and how my relationship with my father was estranged due to his speed to move on quickly from my mother's passing and the introduction of a new person in our lives just weeks afterwards. We didn't grief, we didn't process. Later in my father's life we mended our relationship, and he acknowledged the pain he caused. The song is about my father's wedding to a new partner and my forced role in the ceremony. I was moving from teenager to adult, and it had a profound impact upon me.
Take a While Longer
Take A While Longer is about bargaining in a relationship and processing the loss of a loved one. It is about creating space and a life's direction for yourself as well as being there for others. The song expresses the fact that things take time to heal and process, it's a balancing act and it usually takes longer than you would expect.
You & I
You & I explores the sadness of not having time to have that conversation with my father as he was passing. We were always surrounded by people and the realisation that he was going to die came very late in the piece. The song expresses the words I feel he would have said. My father and I were very similar but also different, he had a profound impact on my values, perspective and life's path.
Lately explores the idea of acceptance, and explores the romantic idea of relationships continuing into the afterlife. When people pass, people often say they are with their wife or husband now. So this song explores that longing and the possible scenario of how this could happen. It also explores the notion that my mother and father are finally back together resting under their gum tree together, after being a part. In a cosmic gesture of full circle and journey's end, their resting place provides us a sense of belonging. The track really ends the project well, and gives a nod to the future direction of Ash Digs music, a continuation of the song book that I started under the Diger Rokwell guise.
- Ash Digs, May 2023