Ashley Myrick released her first album, “The Devil’s Nest” under the stage name Lalagray in 2010. The album earned praise from music critics, and Myrick gained a local following. Lalagray was a success. But Myrick is putting that moniker behind her with a dozen new songs, which she performed at the Kessler in September, performing under her real name. “I have all new stuff,” she says. “It’s actually a really big change for me musically.” The Fort Worth native lived in Oak Cliff until recently and still works at Boulevardier in the Bishop Arts District. She says she taught herself to play piano by cutting class at Tarrant County Junior College and breaking into the music room. Myrick says her Lalagray work was heavily influenced by folk music, and she describes it as “a little too cute.” “I don’t want to make music that’s real cute anymore,” she says. “I really want to slam it out.” The new songs are as pretty and melodic as Myrick’s previous work, but they’re a shade darker and have a fuller sound. “Lone Wolf,” a song about lost love, has a heavy beat and vocals that drip with sorrow. She says she is making connections among local hip-hop artists and producers for the next album. “Before, everyone was listening to and playing folk music, and I love folk music, but my music never felt like it was supposed to be backed by banjoes and guitars,” she says. “I want it to be sort of thick, heavy with hip-hop beats and a wall of sound.” Myrick wrote and recorded demos for all 12 songs over six months. They all have one thing in common. “They’re all about heartbreak,” she says. “All of them.” Myrick opens for Sara Hickman at the Kessler Theater.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Oak Cliff.