Ashni’s new EP Who I Dreamed Of begins with a whisper – the musician lilts softly over a persistent strumming and gentle piano with the first song “Light Bends.” Instantly reminiscent of the singer-songwriters of the 90s and aughts but with Ashni’s own signature touch, Who I Dreamed Of is only three songs but it strikes at the core. And it lingers long past the last listen.

“Please don’t touch me now,” Ashni sings on “Light Bends.” It’s a sad, steady-voiced song about a relationship that falls apart. “You talk of lovers like picking flowers from a tree/While you sit and pick the parts you like off of me.” The lyrics are deft as they cut through the tragedy of a relationship that doesn’t live up to reality. It speaks of how hope exists before the subject awakens and how things feel closer in the dark, before the lights turn back on. Strumming behind pleading but resigned vocals, Ashni brings to mind Regina Spektor and the singers of that time who knew how to use minimal music to put their words in stark relief.

“How Much Is Your Silence Worth” is somehow even subtler than “Light Bends.” The vocals build slowly but persistently with a steady background hi hat. Ashni never has to yell her point when her lyrics do the work – “How much is your silence worth?/Did they take it from you, girl?” But the song cinches its point with gorgeous, heart-wrenching vocalization in a crashing crescendo.

“I have honey on my throat…you have salt on your tongue/You think you’ve won.” The final song of the EP “Honey” brings in traditional drums and a ranging beat. It continues the theme of the collection, commenting on the failings of a relationship that is already broken. And then it ends quickly and decisively. Ashni has invited us in, but she can only bring us so far. The rest of the work to fix this torn heart falls to us.

Who I Dreamed Of out now everywhere.