If you hadn’t already noticed…we absolutely love Ashley Strongarm here at Lemonade Magazine. So it goes without saying that we are super excited to be premiering her brand new single “Church”. Here is what Ashley had to say about the track:
“I was born and raised in Waxhaw, North Carolina, a town close to Charlotte that sounds as southern as it is. Like most people in my hometown, I grew up in a religious family. We went to church almost every Sunday, and I even attended a Southern Baptist middle school. I didn’t move to New York until I was 25, so I didn’t reflect on my upbringing or my surroundings until well into my adulthood when those surroundings changed. It just felt like that’s the way it was, that’s the way most people thought. I felt a pressure not just to look like others but to believe what they did, even though I didn’t fully realize it. When I moved to New York, I experienced a new freedom from my roots and went through sort of a ‘new city new me’ phase. I was told growing up that long hair made me pretty, so I let my roommate chop all of my hair off into a bob while I sat on the floor drinking wine and watching The Office. I then bleached my hair, pierced my nose, and I decided I was a new person.
Of course, a year went by and I grew my hair back out, let the blonde fade (I kept the nose ring), and started to dress and act more like myself again. But it was with this extreme shift from who I was expected to be that I started to understand who I wasn’t. I wasn’t the girl with a blonde bob wearing all black, but I wasn’t the girl in church wearing all white either. My EP is titled For Ghosts because it sifts through my past relationships (aka the ghosts of my past). But it also shuffles through the people that I used to be. This song is about who I was when I went to church.
The chorus says ‘we all hate the feeling guilty but we never hate the sin.’ I used to feel a lot of guilt. Guilt for doubting the faith I was raised to believe, guilt for doing the things I was told were sins, guilt for not feeling much about any of it. I wrote this song from the standpoint of someone who is abusing the idea of an all forgiving God. Someone who is essentially saying they can do evil and pray about it afterward. It’s my reflection on the way I tried to understand religion as I grew up, and the way I’ve seen others abuse it, whether it be to hurt, shame, or judge. I still don’t really know who I am in all of this. I know I’ve been the bad guy – I’ve lied and I’ve led people on with the idea that I could erase it all and do it again. I know I’m not her anymore. That’s who this song is for.
My shortest summary of Church: This song is a darker twist on my outlook on religion, the way I abused the idea of an all-forgiving power in the past, and the cracks that I saw in the foundation of it all. I hope you like it.”
With that said, it is time for you to check out “Church” from Ashley Strongarm for yourself below!
Editor in Chief of Lemonade Magazine
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