All tracks from the album are available to stream above by clicking the left / right arrows. To purchase the album, please visit the iTunes link below after the official release date: Saturday, September 17, 2016.
Listen to "The Kirkbride Sessions"
Photos by Elena Stanton
Ashley engaged videographer Nik Nerburn (another Hinge Artist) to create a music video for the song "Shadow." Nik edited together rarely seen footage recorded by Dave Gorghuber, the former kitchen supervisor for the Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center, giving an inside look at the building before all of the contents were removed.
The Kirkbride Sessions - Recording the Album
In May 2016, Ashley Hanson spent one month on the campus of the former Fergus Falls Regional Treatment Center (commonly known as The Kirkbride Building) as a part of a Hinge Artist Residency offered through Springboard for the Arts in Fergus Falls. For two years prior to the residency, Ashley had been working on a suite of songs influenced by her own experiences growing up in rural Minnesota, along with stories she had heard during her work with her rural community-based theater company, PlaceBase Productions. In writing this album, she was interested in exploring what she calls "the underbelly of the rural experience" - giving voice to the unheard voices and stories from the fields that are often ignored.
During the first three weeks of the Hinge Artist Residency, she spent time writing, refining and arranging the ten-song suite. After receiving permission from the generous David Schlossman, property manager of the Campus Development Group, she was joined by Brian Laidlaw (musician and recording engineer) and Shane Ellis (drums) to record the album in the former Nurse's Cottage. They moved from room to room, hallway to floor, using the sounds of the space to create the natural reverb, layers, and overall vibe of the album. Each vocal track, instrument, and harmony was carefully recorded in the space that best suited the story and character of the song: including a trip to the graveyard to record vocals for the track "Lay Me Down." Following the residency, audio engineer Andy Halvorson mixed and mastered the tracks. The overall sound combines elements of folk, rock and even a little country, with story-based lyrics and rich harmonies painted overtop a backdrop of gritty electric instruments, smeary drums, and haunting piano melodies.
Photographers Elena Stanton and Eric Santwire documented the recording experience and videographer Nik Nerburn created a music video to accompany the song "Shadow." The resulting product is a multi-media experience that seeks to shed light on some of the struggles and hardships facing individuals living in rural communities and our attempts as a society to hide away those lives, stories, and experiences that may taint our view of peaceful rural existence.
Watch the music video for "Shadow"