I probably said as much before when talking about Asher Laub’s earlier single On The Road, but when you hear the word violin most people seem to conjure up one of two images. Either you picture it being played in a formal, classical setting, part of a full orchestra and playing elegant and eloquent sweeps, or you picture it in its alter ego, the “fiddle,” playing hoedown riffs in rootsy bands. Both of these are cliches, extremes even, and only a small part of what the instrument has to offer the modern music scene.
And nothing proves the point as brilliantly as Laub’s latest release, Easy On Me. Here, the violin takes on the vocal line to render Adele’s iconic pop ballad into something even more sublime and delicate. Accompanied only by some understated piano lines, which act as a sonic platform or waltz deftly through the violin notes, there is a wonderful sense of space that allows everything to breathe perfectly. In fact, the space itself almost acts as the third instrument in the composition, as important as the cascading notes themselves.
So with just these three sonic threads, Asher Laub neatly weaves together a gorgeous take on Easy On Me, the violin singing the lead melodies as effortlessly and beguilingly as Adele’s original take. The results are gorgeous, a merging of the immediacy of the pop song with the grace of the classical world. A song equally at home in either camp and the perfect bridge between the high art of one and the mainstream accessibility of the other.
It speaks volumes that an artist can take a single music thread such as a violin line and make it virtually sing the words without any real loss of feeling and emotion. You might not have the direct communication of the lyrical component of the song but it still tugs heartstrings and opens up emotive thought processes. And whilst telling that story, it also acts as the body of the song, engaging enough to carry almost all of the responsibility for its effectiveness with the piano line acting merely as the perfect anchor and support mechanism.
The fact that Easy On Me is a world away from On The Road is another cause for celebration, that clubland-pop-folk fusion sitting at an entirely different end of the spectrum from this gorgeous new release. And considering the distance travelled from one to the other, who knows what future creations might lie between. After all, anyone who can mix clubland groove with frantic folk or sublime pop with elegant classical sounds can obviously turn their hand to almost anything. I don’t know what might come next from Asher Laub. But I, for one, can’t wait to find out.
Link to the single: https://open.spotify.com/album/02RvhmRd86Stvr43fep2QE
Link to youtube: https://youtu.be/Pl-u3peUrPk
Connect on IG: https://www.instagram.com/asherlaub/