Ashley Delima - Stay in America
Ashley Delima has debuted with a memorable first single, “Stay in America”, that confronts the realities of living in America as an immigrant, particularly one with “Dreamer” status, when the tide of the political establishment’s favor has seemingly turned against them. The realities of such a situation are bitter and Ashley Delima, herself New Jersey born but of Brazilian ancestry, has an extraordinary insight into their situation that comes across quite eloquently through both her vocals and lyrics. She doesn’t have to stress the drama – it’s implicit in everything she describes and the band accompanying her delivers a performance more than equaling its urgency. The song, all in all, turns out to be quite an invigorating experience for both the performer and listener alike and one comes away from the song enriched by the experience.
Ashley Delima’s “Stay in America” begins as practically a duet between the percussion and Delima’s voice. She has an effortless ability for entertaining audiences that makes you riveted to hear every word escaping her lips and that effect only grows as the song progresses. The vocal melody for this track really accentuates that without ever drawing too much attention to itself and locks in with the musical backing in a loose, easy manner. The song runs just the right amount of time and features a perfect balance between her singing and the song’s musical elements. They are orchestrated in such a way that it never sounds plotted out, has a natural unfolding quality, and the recording sparkles with clarity and exudes warmth. The rhythmic tandem of drummer Adam Jackson and percussionist Daniel Sadownick are going to be the musical stars of this piece for many listeners, but Vin Landolfi’s guitar playing brings a lot to the recording as well and rings throughout the tune with great confidence.
The great lyrics are just an icing on the cake. She frames the song with a series of questions that payoff with an equally memorable chorus that’s just punchy enough without ever upsetting the balance of the cut. Delima’s phrasing never goes in for the obvious; she stresses unexpected words and phrases and there’s no clear model for what she does a singer despite any influence she has. Her singular talent has no natural antecedent; instead, she leaves the sort of indelible signature on the song that we expect from experienced top tier vocalists rather than singer/songwriters just starting off their career. Ashley Delima’s “Stay in America” has a completeness that most new artists never achieve until they have a few releases under their belt, but Delima is a different breed. Her performance inspires everyone around her and she’s recruited the best of the best to bring out the greatness within herself. By any measure, this single is a total success and breaks her career wide open with its outstanding qualities.
Photo credit is Jesse Lizotte