The back-to-basic, no-nonsense rhythms of Conrad Ashton offer a breath of fresh air to a music scene which increasingly feels saturated by over produced, overhyped excessive. With clean instrumentals topped by characteristically rugged vocals, Ashton reaches the height of his powers with this new track, showcasing his ever-expanding range of talents without getting drawn into losing what makes it so special, its simplicity.
The Longest Night relies on what Ashton has by the bucket full, songwriting prowess. Taking his usual mixture of pop and rock, here he has found a way to transport it to an even higher level than before, partly due to the fiery vocals he possesses, which at times through the verses almost creep into Mark E. Smith territory of ardent animosity.
Following on from previous single ‘Celebrate Life’, the tone here captures the mood of the majority perfectly, but the underlying anger you can detect throughout is lightened with welcomed counteraction from some more blissful instrumentals and an unmissable melodic chorus. The combination of these sounds and emotions he manages to cram portray seemingly effortlessly and with so few elements is made only more impressive by the fact that it is all done by himself, not a full band.
What this track really exudes is emotion. Listening to Ashton do his thing seems to become more of an experience than a mere listening session, bought on by the fact you can sense he has meticulously planned and created every single part of what you are hearing. This is a track that is full of heart, full of a real down to earth passion for music. It’s unmistakably Northern, unrelentingly impassioned, and undeniably his best track to date.