“Omw” off of Ashe’s new album ‘Rae’ is an easy breezy listen, but the lyrics lack the depth needed for the song to be considered storytelling.
Ashlyn Rae Wilson, known by her stage name Ashe, is an American singer and songwriter. She was born in San Jose, California, in the United States, where she took piano lessons at six and started writing songs in her teenage years. She graduated with a major in contemporary writing and production in 2015 from the Berklee College of Music. Afterwards, she went to Nashville and started working on songwriting and production. Here, her solo work caught the attention of Swedish DJ Ben Phipps, who got her to collaborate with him on the single “Sleep Alone,” in which she was nominated for a Juno Award. This track went viral, which led her to more collaborations with artists such as Shaun Frank, Whethan and Louis, the Child. She says that jazz music, Diane Keaton and Carole King greatly influence her music. Today, she is most known for her 2019 single “Moral of the Story,” featured in the film To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You on Netflix.
“Omw” is Ashe’s 21st single as a lead artist, emulating the indie folk genre. It starts off on a high note with a hooky syncopated piano riff coupled with guitar licks and a driving 80s beat. Ashe’s vocals enter in the verse and fans are reminded of the sleek clarity of her voice. However, her smooth vocals don’t mask the simplicity and obscurity of the first verse’s lyrics, “I take what I said even though I meant it. / I paid all my respect, you go and spend it.” Ashe seems to be quite witty with her use of idioms, yet listeners still don’t have a firm grasp of what she’s talking about.
The pre-chorus improves when Ashe introduces a choppy melody over carefully crafted words that flow with the rhythm. She paints more pictures in this section when describing the “windows,” “the rain and the lighting,” “the rainbow,” and “the sun shining.”
However, the build up from the pre-chorus feels like a let down into the chorus. The lyrics are quite repetitive with Ashe repeating “I’m on my way,” not to mention the melody, which doesn’t add any colour or movement to the song. At this point, listeners understand lyrics in the song to be about travelling and freedom, but they may still be left wondering what she’s specifically referring to in her mirage of lyrics and what inspired her songwriting.
Musically, the song gets repetitive in the second verse when Ashe fails to introduce any new instruments or change up the melody. When listeners expect to hear a bridge or instrumental, they are still left in limbo and before they know it, the song is over.
Compared to some of her previous songs, this one feels very simple and predictable, which may not be entirely bad—just a bit surprising considering Ashe is known to be a musical outlier often straying from the mainsttream. Nevertheless, it could still be a fun listen in a car with friends on a road trip or on a moving train.