Listen To This: Diane Keaton joins pop star Ashe in ‘Love Is Letting Go’

Read about this week’s most notable singles by Devin Townsend, Alvvays and more.


Susan Behrends Valenzuela

(Illustration by Susan Behrends Valenzuela)

Holden Lay, Candace Patrick and Jack Solomon

Academy Award-winning actress Diane Keaton has secretly always wanted to be a singer, and she does just that in Ashe’s latest single, the sweet acoustic ballad titled “Love Is Letting Go.” This week we also review some new indie-rock releases. Read on for more.

“Love Is Letting Go” by Ashe featuring Diane Keaton

Candace Patrick, Staff Writer

Singer-songwriter Ashe’s latest single, “Love Is Letting Go” featuring Diane Keaton is the perfect kickoff to sad girl autumn. Though an unlikely pairing — considering Keaton is primarily known for her work as an award-winning actress — the two blend harmoniously to create a peaceful ballad which honors their lost loved ones. Both Keaton and Ashe have experienced the loss of their brothers — the latter to addiction, which she details in her 2021 track “Ryne’s Song.” A soothing guitar melody twinkles behind their soulful harmonies as they croon, “You know I wanna hold you close / But sometimes love is letting go / The moon won’t ever tell the sun that it can’t rise,” in the chorus. Keaton, who has long been a source of admiration for Ashe, has a warm, compassionate, and almost motherly tone as she joins the singer in acknowledging the inevitability of loss. The track’s lyrics are extremely vulnerable, yet beautifully simple, allowing grief and subsequent acceptance to shine through in the song’s lyrics.

“Call of the Void” by Devin Townsend

Jack Solomon, Contributing Writer

Over the past 25 years, Devin Townsend has proven capable in every genre — from death metal to progressive rock to new age to country. His upcoming 23rd studio album — 27th overall — “Lightwork” may prove to be another switch-up. “Call of the Void,” the second single released before the album drop, finds the prolific and eclectic Canadian musician at his cleanest and most pop-oriented in over a decade — if not ever. Colorful synth melodies bounce off of Townsend’s signature wall of echoing guitars, creating a warm and inviting sonic feel, all backed by a steady and nimble shuffle. I’ll admit that some lyrics, including “Not letting the chaos of the world shake you” aren’t above a little corniness, but Townsend never comes off as disingenuous, and his anthemic plea, “Don’t you freak out!” in the single makes for a pretty solid earworm. Between this and the fluorescently catchy “Moonpeople,” “Lightwork” is looking to be another great addition to the artist’s catalog.

“Very Online Guy” by Alvvays

Holden Lay, Staff Writer

On “Very Online Guy,” Alvvays brings a chilly lo-fi sound — laden with glitchy compressed vocals reminiscent of Broadcast — to their layered synths and pristine melodies. It’s an interesting direction for a band that is known for their sparkly-clean sound, but a fitting one given the heavier, fuzzier sound of their fantastic recent singles. As their first record since 2017, the upcoming “Blue Rev” is shaping up to be an aggressive expansion of the band’s sonic potential. Late in the track, when the computerized noise drops out and lead singer Molly Rankin is left singing “Like a thinning wave, what was it supposed to be? / The truth is I’m afraid of sudden change” over a chorus of warbling synths, it’s a stark reminder of the band’s knack for constructing powerful yet deceptively catchy synth-pop tunes. They’re often so easy to get lost in that they’re over before you know it.

“Cave Dweller” by Hotspit

Jack Solomon, Contributing Writer

Hotspit’s latest single “Cave Dweller” is another excellent showing from the Richmond indie quartet. The jangling guitars and simple melodic bass create a rich bed for Avery Fogarty’s yearning vocals. The singer conveys her longing for a past love through mundane acts like cleaning and watching TV, as she sings, “at least then I had somewhere to be.” While the band makes room in the bridge for a swelling and melancholic string section, the key to the track is in the hazy groove and hooky slide guitar leads that glide through the song’s ebbs and flows. “Cave Dweller” is further proof that Hotspit is a band to watch.

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