Having split from their record label a few years ago, Northern Irish pop rockers Ash decided to go it alone and have spent the last year releasing a new single every two weeks in what the band dubbed the ‘A to Z’ series.
Each single was available via a download subscription from 7Digital as well as a proper, old fashioned 7” slab of vinyl, with a limited run of 1,000 each. Ash also released a number of ‘B sides’ in the form of subscriber-only additional downloads.
Six of the 26 singles were promoted as ‘radio singles’ and a small budget set aside for a video. Sadly, none of the tracks dented the charts, but the quality of the music, the innovative idea of the series and the high quality, low budget videos are worthy of far more praise and attention than they received.
So, to mark the release of the final A to Z single, here’s a run down of the key video releases from the series.
Arcadia – single ‘C’
The final video for Ash’s A to Z series was made after the series came to an end to celebrate the most popular song (as voted for by visitors to Ash’s website) of the series – the third release, ‘Arcadia’. The video is by Big Button’s Nico Jones, who also made the videos for ‘Return Of White Rabbit’ and ‘Binary’. Jones worked with Ash bassist Mark Hamilton "to produce a pacy, retro ride to match the track and indulge in some Star Wars fantasies".
Carnal Love – single ‘V’
Director Alex Turvey, working for production company Love, commissioned cake artist Lily Vanilli to make a number of strange looking cakes that singer Tim Wheeler devours in this suggestive take on one of Ash’s finest singles to date. The grade on the video was by Rushes’ Simone Grattarola. The ‘Carnal Love’ video is nominated in the UK Music Video Awards 2010, in the ‘best budget video’ category. The winners will be announced on 12 October.
Binary – single ‘Q’
‘Binary’ is the second Ash video in the A to Z series directed by Nico Jones for Big Button, following his work on the ‘prequel’ single ‘Return of White Rabbit’. The footage was shot on green screen in New York then sent back to Big Button in Birmingham for editing and post production.
War With Me – single ‘M’
Directed by Alex Beck, ‘War With Me’ is the mid-point release from the series.
Space Shot – single ‘H’
This black and white, space themed video, directed by New York-based Daniel Garcia, looks like it costs a lot more than it probably did to make. The line dancing robots are the icing on the cake.
True Love 1980 – single ‘A’
The first of two Daniel Garcia-directed videos for the A to Z series, the filmic promo for ‘True Love 1980’ is for the debut single release of the series.
Return of the White Rabbit – Prequel single
Before the series kicked off, Ash released a ‘prequel’ single and music video – ‘Return Of White Rabbit’. Animation direction and illustration was by Nico Jones for Big Button (the first of two videos he made for the series).
As well as the radio singles, Ash released sporadic no budget videos for other singles in the series. These include…
Joy Kicks Darkness – single ‘B’
Directed by Josh Kletzkin and shot during Ash’s A to Z tour of the UK.
Arcadia – single ‘C’
This again was directed by Josh Kletzkin.
Tracers – single ‘D’
Another of Josh Kletzkin’s videos
Pripyat – single ‘F’
This promo features photographs from Robert Polidori’s book, ‘Zones of Exclusion: Pripyat and Chernobyl’
Ichiban – single ‘G’
The Ichiban video is built around film footage edited together from the (not at all cheap looking) 1961 monster movie, ‘Gorgo’
Neon – single ‘L’
This is basically a slideshow of photography shot and sequenced by KINo.
Kamakura – B-side
The quirky video for ‘Kamakura’ was directed by Dainoji
Gallows Hill – B-side
Ash ran a video competition for B-side ‘Gallows Hill’ – this is one of the entries
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