PREMIERE: Near by Fortresses

In October of last year, multidisciplinary artist Sam Ashton debuted a new ambient project under the alias of Fortresses with Eve, a triptych of introspective drones that took listeners through the arc of a day spent on the streets of his hometown of London. Almost exactly a year later, he brings a similar approach to a new piece called Near which was inspired by time spent in a location half a world away – Portland, Oregon in America’s Pacific Northwest.

Fortresses reflects on his excursion into unfamiliar terrain, recalling his walks deep into the misty forests of Oregon as a time of profound personal changeThe undulating rhythm imagines the depths under the cold waves of the Pacific, the swaying tops of ancient pine trees far in the woods, or clouds heavy with rain as they pass along overhead. 

Dragon’s Eye Recordings

The now familiar markers of Ashton’s hushed, contemplative style abound in this new piece permeated by field recordings of rustling forest breezes and birdsong which convey the essence of the locale while serving as a backdrop to exhalations of melody that rise & fall in the cadence of slow, deep breathing. The effect is to portray not just the sense of the place itself, but the atmosphere around it and the sense of being immersed in its stillness and light. Anyone who would welcome a healing microdose of pastoral beauty need look no further.


Have a listen for yourself in this exclusive preview of Near while it is on pre-order ahead of its November 18 release via Dragon’s Eye Recordings. The EP was mastered by Taylor Deupree and features cover photography by the artist himself.