How Ashley McBryde created the “One Night Standards” story — and why it may be far from over

This week, Ashley McBryde‘s enjoying the biggest hit of her career so far, as “One Night Standards” breaks into country’s top 25.

Ashley launched the lead single from Never Will with three videos for three different songs from the record that tell an ongoing story.  It’s an idea she hit on when sequencing the album with her manager.

“We were listening… to the record in different orders…” she explains. “And if you listen to it this way or that way, you start to hear common threads.”

“So what we were trying to [do is] find a way to place all eleven songs in one town or one location, and what would it be?” Ashley continues. “A laundromat, a hair salon?… And of course, ‘One Night Standards’ being the first single, a hotel makes perfect sense.”

“One Night Standards” was shot at Nashville’s Drake Motel, and introduces a character named Martha Divine —  which is the title of the next video. One night on the bus, Ashley made up the rules for the visual story of Never Will. 

“I got out a sketchpad,” she tells ABC Audio, “and wrote down all the songs in one column and all the people that appear… And then I started sort of drawing arrows to people from a character to a song.”

“But… the arrow couldn’t be drawn to their song,” Ashley says. “So Martha Divine does not get connected to ‘Martha Divine.’ She gets connected to ‘One Night Standards.’ Now that opens up a story. What else could happen here?”

The answer seems to be murder, as Ashley’s apparently disposing of Martha’s body in the subsequent video for “Hang in There Girl.” 

“Just know that all eleven have the ability to be linked visually,” Ashley teases, hinting the story may not be over.

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