Artist to Watch: “Blood Wolf Moon” Is Tommy Ashby’s Breathtakingly Sweet Indie Folk Love Song

Tommy Ashby © Fraser Taylor
A beautiful addition to the indie folk catalog, Tommy Ashby’s “Blood Wolf Moon” resonates with beautiful acoustics, sweet high harmonies, and a breathtaking sense of intimacy and connection.
Stream: “Blood Wolf Moon” – Tommy Ashby




I think that for introverts, meeting in a romantic way is a study of the minutiae. You are both struggling to interpret what the other person is thinking, while desperately trying not to give anything away.

I remember the first time I truly internalized the term “indie folk.” It was some date in the mid-’10s; Dustin Tebbutt’s “The Breach” and Bon Iver’s Bon Iver were big on my rotation at the time, amongst others. Listening to this music elicited a sense of freedom in me; of possibility and hope, and extending, through music, beyond whatever present environment I inhabited, into a new realm full of space, feeling, and above all, depth.

Such is the experience of Scottish singer/songwriter Tommy Ashby’s new single. A beautiful addition to the indie folk catalog, “Blood Wolf Moon” resonates with beautiful acoustics, sweet high harmonies, and a breathtaking sense of intimacy and connection.

Blood Wolf Moon - Tommy Ashby

Blood Wolf Moon – Tommy Ashby

She is so shy,
Scared of the sunrise,
Only calm by noon,
and he is a wallflower,
scared of the fallout,
of speaking too soon.
She likes his eyes,
The way they baptise
the morning light,
and on the walk home
he steps real slow,
Just to see she’s alright.

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the stirring “Blood Wolf Moon,” Tommy Ashby’s second single of 2020 (out June 19 via Wow & Flutter Records). Following early May’s “One Word,” “Blood Wolf Moon” finds Ashby – whom we previously described as “delightfully distinct” and labeled an Atwood artist-to-watch – returning with distinctive serene textures that invite listeners to close our eyes and sink into a warm, enveloping cloud of sound.

Tommy Ashby © Fraser Taylor

Tommy Ashby © Fraser Taylor



“Regarding the name of the song ‘Blood Wolf Moon’ – I remember really vividly a super blood wolf moon that happened in January last year – both for its beauty, rarity and cool name,” Ashby tells Atwood Magazine. “In the context of the song, the idea was that there are rare occasions when all the stars align and unlikely events do happen. And that these unlikely events can be beautiful and made more special by their rarity. In technical terms, and I’m not sure you should quote me on this [editor’s note: we’re doing it anyway!], I believe that the blood moon occurs during a lunar eclipse and that the wolf moon occurs in January, as this was traditionally the time of year when wolves could be heard around villages howling with hunger.”

The imagery of these two experiences coalescing to create this one undeniably unique moment in time reverberates throughout Ashby’s new song as he gets underway, letting a driving acoustic pattern set the underlying tone for the song as his tranquil falsetto leads the way above. His story is instantly relatable to those of us who’ve lived our own little love stories, bathing in those moments of uncertainty and bashful timidity, knowing and shared emotional connection. He sings a soft, passionate chorus where we feel the impact of a single action and a single moment in our histories:

It only takes on move
Can you move me?
Under a blood wolf moon,
Down on Queen Street.

Emotion cascades through the air as Ashby dwells in the power and meaning of a moment.



Tommy Ashby © Fraser Taylor

Tommy Ashby © Fraser Taylor

“This song is definitely at least slightly autobiographical,” the singer/songwriter states. “I think that most songs are to some degree, though songwriters often deny it. So, when I wrote, ‘he is a wallflower, scared of the fallout of speaking too soon’, I definitely relate to that. How can you know enough to form an opinion and state it? And the idea of drawing attention to yourself by actually having that opinion, of being defined by your opinion on something; I find that a wee bit scary. I think what I am saying is that I can be quite introverted, and I can see aspects of myself in both the characters in this song. I wanted the song to use little images to illustrate the details of two people meeting. I think that for introverts, meeting in a romantic way is a study of the minutiae. You are both struggling to interpret what the other person is thinking, while desperately trying not to give anything away.”

Ashby continues, “The road I mention in the chorus, Queen Street, is near my parents’ house back home in Innerleithen in Scotland, but I’m pretty sure that all towns have their own Queen Street. I had a pretty rural upbringing so heading south to university was a shock. Most of my songs, especially the more acoustic folk ones, are based in Scotland and I think the soundscapes really reflect that. The whoops and hollers in the backing vocals are my attempts at the birdsong and the sounds of the landscape. I write all this, but the truth is I was just trying to write a sweet song about two young kids falling in love. Hey ho.”

I write all this, but the truth is I was just trying to write a sweet song about two young kids falling in love.

He takes her hand,
Light as moonshine,
And pulls in close
When their mouths touch,
She is helpless,
She likes it though.
It only takes one move,
Can you move me?
Under a blood wolf moon,
Down on Queen Street.

“Blood Wolf Moon” only lasts for three fleeting minutes, yet in that short span Tommy Ashby introduces us to this gorgeous indie folk world built off gentle tones and dazzling light. His sounds are seductive – minimalist, yet expansive; full of emotion and intent, and yet open-ended so as to allow us to make our own story. There is as much universality, as there is vulnerable intimacy – it’s the sweet spot, and for this writer and listener, the perfect encapsulation of what great “indie folk” music can do. In just three minutes, Tommy Ashby has whisked me into another world, and I never want to leave.

Stream “Blood Wolf Moon” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more from this singular artist-to-watch!

Think I can see the dawn,
In a new light,
Got you to focus on,
I know your star sign.
I’m coming home,
To a real life.
She is so shy,
Scared of the sunrise,
Only calm by noon,
and he is a wallflower,
scared of the fallout,
of speaking to soon.
Stream: “Blood Wolf Moon” – Tommy Ashby



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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com