At first listen, “Ashes” appears to reference a fire, but the somber lyrics also speak of distress. Bogs contributes the lyrics and plays guitar over a hypnotic, stripped-down beat that was produced and recorded by Gordon. Bogs anchors the song with his stoic tenor, although the duo takes turns singing the lead and backup vocals. Gordon’s arrangement on his Casio keyboard matches songs such as Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” in spirit, while a retro-sounding solo makes for a distinctive highlight.
The accompanying video merges scenes of both performers in separate locations, including Highland Park and Mims Lake, a burned outdoor area in New Mexico. In a sense, “Ashes” affirms that sometimes the most inspired art comes out of the most difficult circumstances.