Country newcomer Kassi Ashton unpacks the pressure put on young women to look like “Pretty Shiny Things” in a new music video, translating the anguish behind her emotional new single into a stunning visual epic.
Directed by filmmaker Kristin Barlowe, the theatrical clip features a dramatic dreamlike tone, with Ashton onstage in an empty theater and surrounded by glittering trinkets. All done up in glamorous makeup, sky-high hair and silk night gown which channels the look of classic-country divas like Tammy Wynette and Loretta Lynn, the video is a scathing indictment of putting women up on a pedestal as beautiful objects, rather than people.
“In our society, it feels like we’re forced to evaluate our reflection everywhere we turn, always waiting for a confirmation from someone else that we are enough,” Ashton explains. “Putting that, and something so personal for me, into a visual is a weird task. I wanted it to feel real, not forced. Kristin Barlowe helped me so much in marrying what I wanted artistically with the real emotional monologue.”
With her expressive voice cracking and rising under the weight of the song’s message, the slow ballad unfolds with striking vocals and acoustic guitar.
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I can’t say thank you enough for the love I’ve received. I never even thought twice about sharing this part of myself with you. But the fact that so many are sharing back, I am beyond honored and humbled. We are all human. We all want to be seen for who we really are. Together we can be. Always together. I’ve got you and you’ve got me. Thank you for loving Pretty Shiny Things.
“Put your makeup on girl, stand up straight,” Ashton sings in the chorus. “Your face will take you farther than your brain / You oughta know by now, beauty is pain.”
“Pretty Little Things” is out now and was co-written by Ashton with Emily Landi. It follows her challenging song, “Violins,” and fans can catch her on the road this summer with festival stops at CMA Fest in Nashville, TN, LakeShake Fest in Chicago, IL, Hometown Rising in Louisville, KY and Country Concert in Ft. Loramie, OH.