Posted by Aphra Magazine on 23/4/15.
Ambrosia Parsley’s debut solo album, Weeping Cherry, showcases her mesmerising voice and beautiful lyricism. After 15 years and half a million records sold, the former Shivaree member left the band in 2007 to dedicate her time to being a mother. However, after working independently on her own creative project for an extended period of time, a tumultuous set of personal circumstances led her to finally complete Weeping Cherry. An album that is emotionally gripping, it is laced with love and loss, light and darkness as she weaves a complex web of meaning that reaches out to the hearts of her listeners.
The title track, ‘Weeping Cherry’, is embedded with a hidden darkness as she hints at a relationship that cannot be rectified, a love that cannot be rekindled. Her soft and delicate voice entrances, contrasting against the emotional turmoil that exists within her lyrics. ‘Rubble’ is also one of the album’s more prominent songs, and the first song that was written on Weeping Cherry. It ruminates over a similar theme and feel to ‘Weeping Cherry’; the lyrics convey the idea that she is possibly scared of having her indiscretions discovered, which will ultimately tear her heart into rubble. One of Ambrosia’s lyrics in ‘Rubble’, ‘There’ll be no heart to rest your head upon,’ implies that she is struggling with her personal views on love and loss. This track also lulls its listeners into feeling a sense of tranquility, as Ambrosia’s vocals are smooth amongst a combination of quiet and noisy sounds. This is once again juxtaposed with her angst and emotional turmoil.
According to Ambrosia, most of the songs on Weeping Cherry revolve around her conversations to lost loved ones; she has endured the deaths of relatives, friends and bandmates in the small timespan of a year. This is evident in ‘Skin and Bones’, which starts off with the scraping sound of guitars followed by a sassy piano melody and her seductive vocals. Ambrosia appears to be challenging the concept of death itself, giving it almost humanlike qualities, as she requests it to free her loved one of his shackled condition.
‘Make Me Laugh’ is another intriguing song on the album, as its haunting exterior and bittersweet lyrics are once again combined with Ambrosia’s lovely voice. This song is another example of how Ambrosia’s music is laced with heartache. Yet, what comes from her inability to hold onto her loved ones is a growing wisdom and strength.
Weeping Cherry will draw you in with its mystical lyrics, beautiful vocals and heartfelt music. Ambrosia employs her past experiences as a means to move forward. She quotes, ‘I may also be superstitious about certain fatalistic tendencies. I think they allow me to walk away from things, to recognise them for what they are, and at some point forge on’. Ambrosia’s acknowledgement of loss in Weeping Cherry provides her with the strength and wisdom to pave her way forward and start a new chapter in her life, and that is an important life lesson that she is teaching her listeners to abide by as well.