Music

Song Premiere: Aster Rhys Sings of an Age-Old Struggle on Ethereal 'Pygmalion'

S.G. Carlson

Folk singer-songwriter Aster Rhys sings about the human experience through the lens of Greco-Roman mythology on her forthcoming EP MÆTA (out in April 2021). Her latest release, "Pygmalion," is an ethereal tale about a futile struggle between two lovers. 

"'Pygmalion' is a story that's known to you as it's known to me, whether you know it by name or by experience. That's what I wanted to capture here, a timelessness, a kind of universality," Rhys tells Wide Open Country. "It's like an archetype -- you know, a recurring symbol over time: someone trying to mold someone else into what they want instead of acknowledging someone as they are. Even with the best of intentions, even if you're earnestly trying to help with every bit of your being... that kind of shaping is insidious. It gets under both of your skins. It seeps, it oozes from you. It breeds frustration and resistance. Like hands to clay, or flame to candle, in a way, in their dynamic, lovers can undo each other until they are nothing at all."

Listen to "Pygmalion" below.

Rhys says "Pygmalion" was the first song that inspired the mythology theme for MÆTA.

"It expressed what I knew I had been doing not too long ago at that time; trying to keep everything together, like I was holding water in my hands and no matter how tightly I did, the water just kept falling away," Rhys continues. "And I brought that to this song. And in return, the song brought something to me: an idea. I was in this space of transformation -- these tectonic shifts, that's what I called them, personally with a relationship that imploded and societally with the pandemic -- and I thought about these fundamental stories of transformation in Greco-Roman mythology." 

MÆTA was recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan at Solid Sound Studio.

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Song Premiere: Aster Rhys Sings of an Age-Old Struggle on Ethereal 'Pygmalion'