Ashkelon is city in southern Israel only a few miles from the Gaza strip, a place where Nashville singer-songwriter Rayland Baxter goes to become a ghost.
“Ashkelon is where I started writing songs and where I have returned numerous times,” he revealed. “For me, that was where this all began.”
The young artist has named his new EP ashkeLon in the city’s honor, calling it “my little green garden in the desert.” But given the tensions in the area, it’s also a place that forces contemplation on the nature of one’s existence.
On “Ghost, Again,” Baxter seems to disappear into the ether. Backed by violin and viola, he patiently plucks out a melody that drifts and dissolves like a lone figure on the horizon.
Recorded live in one take, there’s no safety zone to hide behind.
“That’s the goal,” he says. “No sugar. No salt. Just the song.”
Enjoy Rayland Baxter’s solemn retreat from the ordinary on “Ghost, Again.”