Jean Rohe writes one-of-a-kind narrative songs, concerned as much with the internal world as with the external. Her latest record as a bandleader, Sisterly, produced by longtime collaborator Liam Robinson, is a collection of songs about communication and missed connections, and tackles topics from love, lust, and longing to prisons, police violence, and migration.
She is perhaps best known for her much-covered 2012 video single, “National Anthem: Arise! Arise!” an aspirational alternative national anthem performed with choir and brass ensemble. Her award-winning 2013 release Jean Rohe & The End of the World Show was hailed by an Elmore Magazine reviewer as “enchanting” and “remarkable in so many ways I can think of no comparison.”
Jean tours regularly with Robinson & Rohe, her rootsy songwriting duo with Liam Robinson, and continues work on a performance memoir, The Odysseus Agreement, for which she’s received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Johnny Mercer Songwriters Project, and others. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Growing up in Vancouver, BC with his father, Taylor Ashton was always playing with words. “My dad and his friends loved making up little jokes and verses, and they always encouraged me to write. I think my dad was surprised that he had made this little person who was now making things of his own, and his encouragement made me believe I was some kind of poetic genius,” laughs Ashton.
While his childhood poems may have left something to be desired, Ashton’s debut solo album The Romantic, which came out in 2020 on Signature Sounds Recordings, thrilled fans with its satisfyingly clever, yet confessional and intimate songwriting. Ashton primarily accompanies himself on the banjo, and the production on The Romantic is full and lush, and easily at home in the folk-pop world. On his new EP Romanticize, however, the Brooklyn based musician presents re-imaginings of songs from his solo debut, with everything from orchestral inspired string arrangements, to club dance beats and stripped down solo performances, giving us a window into the many avenues of his creativity, and the potential of his songs to transcend the boundaries of genre.