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Ashley Cooke Takes Fans On A Dynamic Journey Of Self Discovery In Debut Album "shot in the dark"

Rising country songstress Ashley Cooke has never shied away from sharing her thoughts and feelings with her fans. To be honest, it is that raw mentality that has garnered the Florida native millions of loyal followers.

Credit: Robby Klein

When real world emotions come knocking, Cooke picks up a pen and gets writing. Her effortless portrayal of internal girt and turmoil connects to each fan and meets them where they are at. shot in the dark serves as a love letter to her supporters and a real life glimpse into the creative's journal.

The 24 song project takes listeners on a journey through love, loss, confusion but overall joy and growth. Collaborating with some of today's biggest songwriters and best voices, Ashley truly leaned on her own innate storytelling skills and the support of her community.

"Everybody that I have on this project are people that I'm such massive fans of and I have been for a long time," Ashley told All Country News. Teaming up with some of the best male voices in the genre, Nate Smith, Jackson Dean and Brett Young allows Cooke to dig deeper and explore stories in unique ways.

“what are you on fire about” feat. Jackson Dean is a barn burner of a broken heart track. Written by Lainey Wilson, Jason Nix and Luke Dick, the guitar heavy ballad explores the push and pull that we all feel when a old flame finally dies, and the deception that sometimes comes with it all. "Does your secret have a name," both risers sing. The marriage of Cooke's tender tone and Dean's grit filled vocals add depth and emotion to the painfully relatable track.

“your place” oozes self-empowerment. and setting boundaries and is released today Co-written by Cooke with Jordan Minton and Mark Trussell, the dymnaic tracks gives a voice to setting boundaries in a tough relationship. Cooke's power grows over the song as reclaims her power and strength after being wronged in a relationship. Yet the fresh twist that the instrumentation provides really adds to the feeling of he made is bed and now she isn't. She is strong and she is GONE!

Track number five seems like a little ride on a country music time machine back to the days of female power anthems. moving on with grace is full of womanly angst and grudges. Never would have guessed with that title huh. Clever wordplay is at the forefront of this guitar laden track. Dealing with the fact that her old lover is moving on with "Grace", yet Ashley describes her new lover Jack in a way that personifies the iconic whiskey as her lover. "I walked into the writers room that day wanting to write something that felt like OG Miranda," Ashley told All Country News. "I am known for these slower songs but I am excited to have a badass like don't mess with me kind of song."

“One of the coolest parts about releasing an album with 24 songs is that I can really dive deep into all the different sides of my experiences and feelings,” reflects Cooke.

Perhaps Ashley's artistry is best captured in the only solo write on the project. Smack dap in the middle at track "next to you" is truly a songwriting masterclass that shows off the dynamics of the rising star. Full of dreamy acoustics and Cooke's signature soft vocal reflects on all the good things that Ashley has in her grips. While Ashley told us that the song started as "word vomit," its sentiment comes through loud and clear

"I wrote that track right after I made my Grand Ole Opry debut. I woke up and looked at my kitchen counter. It was covered with flowers, opened and unopened champagne bottles. It was truly the most crazy night of my life. But the best part was who I got to I never expected that song to go anywhere. I honestly was on my acoustic guitar. It took me maybe 15 minutes max to write that song and I just kind of was like, fiddling around on it."

As one final ode to remaining authentic in her debut project, the titles of all 24 tracks remain lower case. "I think to me it just felt like the most authentic way to message and brand something because it's how I type," Ashley shared. Knowing that Ashley could never write out a text to a friend let along a song that way, the ever dynamic Cooke took made that creative choice in order to stay true to her roots.

But that is the thing about this debut project, it is Ashley from top to bottom. Like pages ripped from personal journal and intimate stories for all to hear Ashley's words connect. Steadfast in creating narratives that her fans can place themselves in, Cooke leads the charge for women in the genre unafraid to be a little left of center. Embracing the energy of pop and exploring the depths of country, Ashley Cooke's debut project is one to be celebrated.


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