Ashia’s ideas and voice, at once ethereal and demanding, are pop/rock, yet the sounds are at times classical and folk, being on the cello. Her style as described by Portland Monthly: “…one can’t help but hear a collage of influences. Grzesik can certainly give Joanna Newsom a run for her whimsy, she possesses the old-world charm and quirky dramatics of Regina Spector and the cello-punk instincts of Bonfire Madigan, and her voice vacillates between the throaty alto of Amanda Palmer and the ethereal soprano of Maria Callas. Simply put, she’s got a little bit of everything.”
Ashia about Diesel vs Lungs:
Diesel vs Lungs – Industry vs Nature, Machine vs Man
The ideas and concepts of the album and first song are based on the ideas and struggles of nature versus industry, and machine versus man, the body. There are lately, the ideas, to return to the earth, to walk away from fully industrialized life and to take care and protect nature, as well as our own bodies. We are starting to once again see that our own bodies are excellent modes of transportation! Walking, riding a bicycle, (or a bison) instead of using a car each time to just go to get groceries.
We are starting to turn lawns into vegetable gardens, re-use/recycle, and save energy, so as not to take too much from nature. Also, there is research being done to learn to cleanse what industry puts out, with the use of natural micro-organisms. In some way, this struggle this fight, between protecting nature and industrialization is also producing new ideas of how to create a balance between the two.
There are also the ideas of immigration, which relies on locomotion, on the possibilities of work, and escape from war/political struggles. If it isn’t for industrial jobs offered, for hope of freedom through work, than immigrants would possibly never leave their homes, whether to go abroad or change regions. Many immigrants find that the work they so desperately need often comes with the price of their own bodies and environment. It is a struggle they live through while also missing home and the lives they left that lie now only in their dreams.
And somewhat in connection, the ideas of ancestors stem from where they lie (Spirit Dances Evermore)- within our own selves and within the environment. When we respect our ancestors then we respect our environment and our own bodies, for we hold them in ourselves and also in our surroundings. All is connected, so once we begin to destroy one, we destroy ourselves. If we cage ourselves into a paradigm of destruction, we must get out- whether it is our environment, or our own minds, or even, a political system…. but perhaps, the latter will be for another project or album.
“…Utilising her full vocal range and putting in a virtuoso performance on cello, accompanied only by accordian. Is this folk? It’s mixed with classical, but yes it’s folk, most certainly: Grzesik sang of her Polish Grandmother’s numerous ploys to discourage her family from moving away from home; ranged through intimate tales, both emotional & mature, tossed in jaunty escapades; and sang in English and Polish. It was nicely varied and consequently never boring…. I should mention her voice – a sumptuous but delicate soprano which scales, sometimes violently, but to good effect, to a forceful almost ‘rock’ vocal.” – Zaph Mann, Oregon Public Broadcasting
“Ashia combines the vocal sensibilites of Elenie Mandel and the avante-garde musical approach of The Dresden Dolls with the intensiveness of P.J. Harvey. How could this not be good?”- Mite Mutant, The ChickenFish Speaks
“Ashia’s unconventional sound is sometimes haunting, alternating among broad ranges of styles, volumes, and speeds at most unexpected moments…an album praiseworthy for its sincere originality and stunning musical range.” – Melanie Fried, Elmore Magazine.
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