A Sunny Day in Glasgow started with Ben Daniels playing and recording songs in his bedroom.
“I went to school in Glasgow for a year, and I never realized there was a place where the sun could go away for weeks at a time,” Daniels said. “It really affected me. When the sun would come out, it was just the most amazing feeling.”
Last year’s Ashes Grammar is a flowing mesh of mysterious melodies and moods. The 22 tracks, some as short as 10 seconds in length, resemble a backdrop of similar styles and emotions. The tracks flow seamlessly from one to the next, showcasing choir-like, male/female harmonies; distant, deep-synch waves; guitar layers; unpredictable rhythms and millions of other sounds unfamiliar to the average ear. It’s a hypnotic listening experience.
“On the recordings to date, we each kind of play everything,” Daniels said of the band’s fluid lineup.
Live performances feature guitar playing and sampler mastery by both Daniels and Josh Meakim.
“I think I feel most at home in the studio,” Meakim said. “We’ve made some really great recordings and have been working really hard on being a good live act. I’m really proud of Ashes Grammar.”
Meakim and Daniels agreed the band would like to stay busy and hopefully get back into the studio again this year to work on recording short EPs and a new album. The pair’s newest EP, Nitetime Rainbows, was released March 2.
The group is currently in the midst of a U.S. tour that landed them at the exponentially popular South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas. Thursday, they make their only tour stop back in their home city at the Kung Fu Necktie in Fishtown. Philadelphia, Meakim said, is a great place to return to after months on the road. Daniels, who grew up in the city, said it has influenced him more than any other place has.
“I’ve traveled a lot and lived in other countries, but Philly’s the only place where I’ve been able to assimilate it all into a final product,” Daniels said. “I feel like I love Philly as much as I hate it, and I think that’s a good relationship to have with your hometown.”
Kevin Brosky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.