Local band hopes to inspire listeners

The Ashley Hundred perform at The Gateway on Friday, Oct. 13. (Photo by Patrick Earl Concepcion/SAIT)

Calgary based band, The Ashley Hundred, always wanted to release a full length album.

“I guess it was always part of the plan,” said Brett Cassidy, the band’s banjo player, in a phone interview. However, the cost of recording, producing and releasing the album initially held the band back from achieving their dreams.

Formed in 2012, The Ashley Hundred released their first LP, Postcards from the Moon, which chased the bands folk inspirations such as Seattle-based folk band Fleet Foxes or Iowa-based Youth Lagoon. They quickly developed their own unique sound, which combines folk, new wave and traditional rock inspirations to form such hits as Lonely Love and Cold Weather Heart.

The new album, which was released in 2017, was recorded with help from Juno Award-winning producer Josh Gwilliam and gold record holding audio engineer Spencer Cheyne.

However, it was another local band and a tragedy that helped this local band release their debut self-titled EP in 2017. Local charity, Zachariah and the Non-Profits, started after the 2014 Brentwood stabbing, where two members of the popular local band Zachariah and the Prophets were murdered. The charities goal is to provide local bands with the funding and experience to release their own music. The goal of the group is to guide young bands and young musicians into the heady world of recording, producing and playing music.

Having received funding through the Prophets of Music Emerging Artist Scholarship Program, The Ashley Hundred was able to release their album.

“Having been friends with Zack [Rathwell] and Josh [Hunter] it was huge. We couldn’t have done it without their help. Especially financially it was massive. We had applied for so many grants and had been rejected from all of them, but then they came through and saved the day. They helped us record the entire thing, but there was also a lot of business coaching involved. We  were not confident in that, but they helped us build an actual team of people who could support us,” said Cassidy.

The band, which hopes to release a new EP later in the year has been embracing new genres of music with this new record, with R&B and modern rock influencing the band more than previous recordings.

“When people leave our shows we want them to feel a bit sweaty, having had a good time, but also feeling inspired like they want to do something with their lives,” said Cassidy.

The Ashley Hundred will be playing with Fever Feel at The Gateway on, Saturday, April 21.

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