Ashe releases her sophomore album “Rae”

Ashe’s lyrical storytelling sends fans on an emotional adventure in her sophomore album, “Rae,” as she explores relationships and growing up.


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Ashe punctuates a smooth blend of salsa, rock and jazz with emotional lyrics.

Fashion Castillo-Delgadillo, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Ashlyn Rae Willson, better known by her stage name Ashe, released her long-awaited sophomore album,“Rae,” on Oct. 14. Ashe’s previous hit single Moral of the Story gained popularity from the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before soundtrack and was later re-released to feature Niall Horan — building up momentum for her next album. In “Rae,” Ashe carefully crafted each song to explore themes of relationships, feminism and maturing. 


The album begins with a 38-second instrumental track titled “Rae’s Theme,” which sets the tone for the remainder of the album. The song sounds as though it was taken right out of a 1950s western movie highlighting smooth jazz and salsa melodies — leading into the following song on the album, “Another Man’s Jeans.” 

“Another Man’s Jeans” originally gained popularity through TikTok as users and Ashe compared the song to a popular Harry Styles’ song titled “Carolina.” After a song filled with sunshine and lightheartedness, the album drastically takes a turn to slower melodies in “Hope You’re Not Happy” and “Shower With My Clothes On.” In “Shower With My Clothes On,” Ashe deals with anxiety in the aftermath of a relationship stating, “I think I could die / I’ve been missing you for so long / Listening to our song / In the shower with my clothes on.”

Ashe swivels towards a more hopeful note in “omw” as she moves along the road to recovery to overcome her previous trials and tribulations in life. “They say that somewhere over the rainbow the sun’ll be shining / The birds will be flying, there’s no denying I’m / I’m on my way / The road is winding,” sings Ashe. 

The following track, “Angry Woman,” uses heavy rock influences as she talks about her experience with sexism in the music industry and generates a feeling of karma and rage through an impressive chorus and expressive song lyrics. Ashe sings, “You said my sound wasn’t pop enough / Well, I’m about to set your world on fire.”


Ashe does not only encapsulate emotions within her song, but also exemplifies excellence in who she features on her tracks. Ashe’s debut album was produced by well known artist FINNEAS, who also appears on “Till Forever Falls Apart”. Similarly, the song “Love Is Letting Go” features Oscar winning actress Diane Keaton. The song focuses on her brother’s unexpected death from substance abuse in September of 2020. After reading Keaton’s memoir, “Brother & Sister: A Memoir,” Ashe learned about Keaton’s experience losing a close family member and invited Keaton to be featured on the emotion-packed track.  

“I’ve spent the better part of my life idolizing and revering Diane Keaton, watching the choices she made, her career, how she treated people, how she acted in interviews — there’s no one like her,” Ashe recently said. “Frankly, and I couldn’t care less if this sounds dramatic, there isn’t an Ashe without a Diane Keaton. When people say ‘don’t meet your heroes,’ that’s true —  unless it’s Diane Keaton.”

Ashe brings the 14-track album to an end with “Fun While It Lasted” which begins with a piano ballad and gradually builds into a dramatic ending. “It was fun for a while / We had so many drеams,” said Ashe as she brings the album to a close and encapsulates many of the recurring themes displayed in the album. 


Fans within the Los Angeles area celebrated Rae’s release with the artist through various events during the release week. On Oct. 18, Ashe hosted a one-night only performance of her new album from start to finish at the Troubadour. FINNEAS and songwriter Steph Jones performed alongside Wilson at the event, pleasantly surprising concert attendees. 

Ashe also greeted fans at a pop-up event containing exclusive merch and signed vinyls for fans that wanted to celebrate at Saint J. Cyber Cafe and Rubycon Records & Tapes. If fans missed the opportunity to see Ashe at the Troubadour, the performance was also live streamed online. Additionally, Ashe announced her upcoming Fun While It Lasted tour, which will take place in 2023.

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