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Premiere: Surreal, Emphatic Music from U.K. Artist Tom Ashbrook on ‘30five’

The Liverpool-based composer, songwriter and pianist is prepping for the release of his album ‘Solitudes’

Anurag Tagat Apr 02, 2021

Liverpool-based composer Tom Ashbrook. Photo: Jodie Canwell

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With millions of streams and playlisted tracks for chill, piano-based songs, Liverpool composer and songwriter Tom Ashbrook says it’s no surprise that ambient, neo-classical and electronic music rack up big numbers despite sounding niche. “It’s actually a super accessible sound and millions enjoy chilling, studying and collaborating alongside these pieces,” the pianist adds.

With his latest song “30five” – off his upcoming album Solitudes – Ashbrook goes from tender to emotional, powerfully bringing to the front ambient soundscapes that will likely sit right with fans of neo-classical artists such as Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds. He says about picking a name for this poignant track, “The title ‘30five’ was written personally to show the separation of an age and how we feel. Time seems to fly especially to me when I hit 30 years and I still feel like a five’ year old having been gifted my first piano.”

Earning praise from the likes of The Who guitarist Pete Townsend and regularly working on music for film and screen, Ashbrook says he’s always so shocked when he hears praise from seasoned musicians. The 11-track album extends into more solitary themed piano solo pieces as well as what Ashbrook terms “layered and comforting support from strings and synthesis in bigger tracks.”

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Split into two volumes – each featuring a separately commissioned artwork from London artist Rob Shuttz – Ashbrook refers to the final image as “Rune.” Even with a few collaborators for Solitudes, the intent with this music remains intimate for Ashbrook. He says, “With some films coming this year I wanted to write and document my personal journey through this very bizarre year and show the dark and light side of it all.”

Listen to “30five” below. Stream the song on Spotify and Apple Music.

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