The reason you should check out Ashley’s album is that it’s a gorgeous collection of nine beautifully crafted songs that encompasses all that is valued in the folk/rock/acoustic scene. Her sublime vocals straddle a varied selection of song structures given added impetus by a backing band keen to mix strings and keys to full effect. Often you have to take a step back when a bio or press release indulges in name-checking hyperbole but it is difficult to argue with references to Stevie Nicks and Jewel and Ashley herself has no finer inspiration mentioned than Patty Griffin. Added to her exquisite vocals, Ashley shows she’s no mean song writer in both lyrical content and melody construction.
Hailing from Decatur, Illinois, Ashley has been actively involved in recording since 2008 and while her previous records haven’t been checked out yet, the nine songs from ALL THE PRETTY THINGS are perfect appetizers to appreciate her talent. The genre for female singer-songwriters to take their music in a folk-rock direction is growing on both sides of the Atlantic and the Americana scene seems to be the natural home. Straight from the acoustic opener ‘Made of Dreams’ through to the tranquil closer ‘Lie To Me’, where Ashley shows she’s the master of the slow song, Americana fans will drool over the enchanting quality. The punchy title track ‘All The Pretty Things’ explodes with a captivating and harmony-laced chorus and rivals ‘Trouble’ for the stand out track. The latter draws faint comparisons with the rather good Be Good Tanyas song ‘Light Enough To Travel’ which is another esteemed name to add to her sound association.
All The Pretty Things is available on UK ITunes from Feb 18