Review: Ashley Freeman – Limitations

On her beautifully sparkling track “Limitations”, Ashley Freeman wants you to know that she went through something, and knows that you’re going through something too. With her latest single, the Lowell-based singer/songwriter captures both the individualized agony of restlessness and the notion that we’re also collectively hitting a wall.

In December, Freeman wrote:

“We all crash into walls and need to reassess our current situations at certain points. During

June of this year I completely fell into a black hole and felt trapped by numerous mental and

physical limitations. It wasn’t until September that I decided it was time to really look at the

terms of my life and what I truly valued. I really had to adjust where I was putting my energy and

what kind of energy I was allowing myself to receive from the people and places around me.”

As such, “Limitations” acts as a perfect period piece to a time that will inevitably be remembered by something like “The Big Burnout”. We’ve been wrung dry of every drop of blood and sweat by our employers, and the expectations of business as usual in an unusual circumstance. Sobriety is pain, so you watch the clock to tell yourself that it’s 5:00 PM in Amsterdam, so what am I doing being a good corporate citizen in my time zone?

Freeman knows what it means to try and plot the course through confinement, physical or otherwise.

Performed and produced entirely on her own, “Limitations” pulses like the throbbing in the corner of your eye or your inner eyebrow, but the cool tones of the synth strings act as a salve to soothe your sense of well-being. Freeman’s verse flows along the two-and-a-half minutes at an almost breathless clip. If she stops, will everything else stop, even though it’s the same thing day in and day out? “Back and forth,” she sings, “I decide what I want from this life.”

Ultimately, into the moonlight to see another sunrise and sunset is where Ashley Freeman chooses to go, and we’re strapped in for the ride to follow Freeman as she shapes her sound and her story.


Photograph by Jaclyn Starble