ashes to omens

Athenian rock band "Ashes to Omens" poses for a picture. (Photo/April Murray)

Athenian rock band Ashes to Omens slows things down with their new single “Speaking My Mind,” a song about finding the willpower to break away from toxic relationships.

Ashes to Omens premiered their single “Speaking My Mind” on June 11 as a precursor to their upcoming album “Black Boxes,” which is set to launch Oct. 22. The song sets the tone for the theme of the album to come.

“Each of the songs on the album represents a black box,” said vocalist and guitarist of Ashes to Omens, James Branton. “Everyone carries around their own black box internally that holds their secrets and it’s all tucked away in those boxes. Everyone has them.”

In the case of “Speaking My Mind,” the black box has to do with toxic relationships. The creation of the song was sparked at the end of one of the band member’s marriages and evolved into lyrics that each band member related to.

“When it came to writing the song, I think we were all going through something,” Branton said. “Whether it’s an intimate relationship that you have with someone, or a problem with family or work — what inspired the song to begin with was toxic relationships.”

The new single brings a sound that strays from the band’s heavier riffs with its purpose being to capture the audience with a slower and quieter ballad to match the energy of the lyrics.

“Instead of making the audience want to headbang at a show, it makes them stand there and think ‘Dang, I can relate to this,’ or hold their cell phones and lighters up,” said bass player Chris Blake.

Blake will get to see the audience interact with “Speaking My Mind” at Club 134 in Anderson, South Carolina, on Aug. 6.

“I like to look out and see expressions on people’s faces,” Blake said. “Going from the previous song where they [are] jumping and having a good time to where they’re stopping and thinking ‘Woah, this is really impacting me.’”

Recording producer at LedBelly Sound Studio Matthew Washburn further stressed the new song’s ability to attract listeners from solely a mechanical standpoint.

“The song can appeal to a broader audience than just someone who is really into hard rock, so it’s good in that sense,” Washburn said.

Ashes to Omens released a five track EP as an advance to the album premiere, which includes “Speaking My Mind.” The five songs will appear on the album and are currently available for streaming on any music platform or for a hardcopy purchase.