In the digital age, fire is very underrated. It brings light and warmth, purification, destruction, hazard-reduction, and a whole lot more. Harnessing its power has quite literally brought us to where we are today as a species. “Keep the fire alive” is a phrase so ingrained in our evolutionary and cultural DNA that it barely needs an explanation. But all fires burn out eventually and everything turns to ashes in the end.

American singer-songwriter Claire Guerreso’s gut wrenching tune “Ashes” understands this on a visceral level and through her immense talents is able to make sure that you’ll feel it on that same level. An emotionally raw and highly evocative number, “Ashes” pushes all the right buttons and delivers in a big way.

A scant piano melody leads things off and sets the tone for a somber affair. Guerreso’s haunting vocals are soon added to the mix, occasionally flanked by some dark synths, background vocals that fluctuate between angelic and ghostly, and some incredibly moving string work. If this song, at least on a sonic level, doesn’t invoke some sort of emotional response from you, you’re likely dead inside.

Reflecting upon the ruins of a relationship, Claire turns to the destructive nature of fire for metaphor, mainly focusing on how empty, hopeless, and utterly lost you feel in its wake. Breakups are chance to start up new, but like it or not you have to build upon the ruins of what came before. You’ve gotta spend some time stewing in the ashes of your failure before you can find the strength to get up and start all over again.  



Guerreso has been making music for over a decade, under her own name and monikers like The Little Bear. If you’ve watched nearly any tv shows the past few years you’ve likely heard one or more of her songs featured on them.

The multi-instrumentalist has incredible range, being able to incorporate several different genres into a single song without things sounding stuffed or making her songs inaccessible.

Her music can be streamed by all the usual suspects and is well worth your time. That is all.


Calvin Paradise is not any one thing. The half-hearted vagabond and forgetful luddite currently resides in Los Angeles and how he spends his time is none of your damned business.