Review and Interview: “To Be Dreaming” by Ashley Virginia

Ashley Virginia’s single “To Be Dreaming” is an upbeat, thoughtful tune that juxtaposes bright instrumentation with lyrics that tell an honest tale about hiding from the world. The first single off of her debut album And Life Just Goes On Living set to be released in August of 2021, “To Be Dreaming” offers the perfect introduction to Ashley Virginia’s unique musical perspective.

The song begins with simple electric guitar strums that perfectly encapsulate Ashley Virginia’s modern classic rock sound. Her voice enters as the instrumentation slowly builds with a bass line and a light driving drumbeat. Ambient electric guitar harmonies add beautiful decoration as you are enveloped by the artist’s unique, conversational vocals that offer beautiful tones and intriguing inflections. She sings “Wake up, touch down on earth, as the clouds disappear, I would much prefer to be dreaming”.

Written during the pandemic quarantine of 2020, “To Be Dreaming” effortlessly encapsulates the escapist desires associated with isolation and the unknown. Recorded separately with Ashley Virginia on vocals, guitar, and organ, Kevin Beardsley on bass, Logan Butler on lead guitar, and Ricky Perez on drums, “To Be Dreaming” is a lovely, relatable tune that showcases the Greensboro, North Carolina-based artist’s laid-back style, vulnerable and poetic lyrics, and unique voice that will be playing on repeat inside your head.

Written by Katrina Charles

Q&A with Ashley Virginia

Q: I really enjoyed listening to “To Be Dreaming.” What inspired you to write this track?

ASHLEY: I wrote this track during the early days of quarantine. I remember waking up from a really great dream, trying to remember it and feeling like it was just out of reach. That’s kind of how I felt when the pandemic hit. I was just really starting to get my stride as an artist, booking gigs, releasing music; my dreams were just on the tip of my tongue but I wasn’t able to realize them. The song was just a therapeutic way of processing that huge life change.

Q: You definitely have a strong, prominent voice. What is your vocal background?

ASHLEY: Thank you! I grew up doing choir and musical theatre, and I actually studied vocal performance and opera in college. I don’t really sing opera much now a days, but I definitely learned a lot from it about how the voice works and techniques on how to utilize it. At the end of the day, the voice is an instrument just like any other!


Q: Who are your biggest artistic influences?

ASHLEY: Paul McCartney is my hero when it comes to songwriting, I think he’s a genius and I grew up listening to the Beatles and his music. I’m really into the music of the 60s and 70s in general;
Fleetwood Mac, ABBA, Judee Sill, Joan Baez, Dolly Parton, etc.
More current music that is super influential to me would be Big Thief (Adrianne Lenker is another hero of mine, I really admire her writing and artistry), Anna Burch, Lucy, Dacus, and Faye Webster.


Q: Musicians and artists had to overcome many obstacles this past year. Can you give some insight on the recording process for “To Be Dreaming?”

ASHLEY: The recording process was definitely unique and not the most ideal, but we made it work under the circumstances we’re in. With COVID, it wasn’t safe for the band to gather and so we sent a lot of tracks back and forth via email. They’d record their part over what I sent them, then bounce it and send it back to me. It took a lot longer this way, but I’m happy with the end product, and it kept us all safe in the process. 

Q: Do you have any other projects fans should be on the lookout for?

ASHLEY: Yes! I ran releasing a full length album in August, and To Be Dreaming will be on that album. Also, at the end of every month leading up to the album, I will be dropping a single off the album. Lots of music to come so stay tuned! 

Interviewed by Sarah Scott

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