Ashland Craft ain’t the type to write a mushy love song.
The singer/songwriter from South Carolina likes her love without flashy filters. She likes showing off the messy side of adoration and the honest truth behind the Instagram pics. She likes being honest and authentic with every word she sings, and she’s been increasingly taking these virtues into the writing room with her.
“I mean, I’ve been dabbling with writing more actual love songs,” she admits during a recent interview with American Songwriter. “But when I do go there, they still have a tough side to them. But I think I’m getting a little more vulnerable each time I write.”
Country music’s newest spitfire lets out a bit of a mysterious laugh, seemingly sounding like there might be more to tell, more to reveal, more that will soon be released from that country heart of hers that the world first fell in love with when she snagged a Top 10 spot on The Voice.
But she’s only 24 years old.
She’s got plenty of time.
For now, Craft is getting comfortable with her brand of love songs via her new single “Two Wildflowers and a Box of Wine,” a sultry country come-on that thrives on the sound of Craft’s sexy growl and a back-beat dripping in her Southern rock roots.
“I wanted to write something that’s happy, but is still badass,” chuckles Craft of the song she co-wrote alongside Jonathan Singleton and Rob Snyder back in 2019. “I want the guys to love it as much as the girls love it.”
The addictive song tells the story of finding love wherever you are and as messy as that place might be. Via clever lyrics such as ‘You drive and I’ll draw hearts on the window ‘til we find what money can’t buy,’ it reminds her pandemic-weary fandom that sometimes, a few flowers and a box of wine can serve as the perfect way to celebrate one’s unique love story.
“It’s about you and the person you love, no matter where you might be,” says Craft of the song produced by Singleton and Joey Moi. “It’s about making the best out of what life hands you. Sometimes, love can be simple and relaxing, but so many people don’t do that anymore. Everything is glamourized. We use our social media to display our favorite parts of our love story. Sometimes, you just need to get away from everything with someone important to you and press the reset button on life.”
The lyrics that make up “Two Wildflowers and a Box of Wine” certainly point to a far more seasoned songwriter than Craft. But in fact, Craft has only been seriously songwriting for the past two years.
“My mindset about songwriting is that I always have more to learn,” says Craft, who was opening up for Morgan Wallen before touring was shut down due to the pandemic. “I actually hated school, but when it comes to music, it’s the one thing I want to perfect to a certain extent and do it the right way. I’m eager to learn from people who have been here much longer that I have. They clearly know what they are doing. (Laughs)”
And in order to perfect this, Craft knows she needs to speak her truth.
“I’m a perfectionist when it comes to my music,” she continues. “That is the one thing in life that I want to use to accurately depict who I am and how I feel about everything.”
Granted, it’s a process. The self-proclaimed, ‘socially awkward person,’ admits if she’s being honest, she is more of the ‘fly on the wall’ type. She’s a super personal person. Off stage, she says she often feels as if she wants to hide.
But onstage? Well… damn.
This girl has star quality flying out of her boots.
“I come out of my shell up there, yeah,” she says. “The stage does that for me like nothing else can, which is why being off the stage right now has put me in such a weird place.”
Luckily, Craft seems to have found another place where she comes alive, as demonstrated in the music video for “Two Wildflowers and a Box of Wine,” which was released Friday (November 20.)
“The video hits the nail on the head when it comes to the visuals I wanted to use for the song,” says Craft of the video directed by Justin Clough. “It felt very natural for me to play that part. But whatever I do, I want to be me. I’m not putting on a show for anyone. I’m going to be very real with everything I do.”