With a voice that soars strong and full and hushes soft and sweet, Ashley Riley pulls you into her songs of life's hardships and hopes. Often compared to Stevie Nicks or Jewel, her sound is something you won't soon forget: roots-pop infused with finger-style guitar, and a subtle, dreamy hint of Mazzy Star.
Ashley first took the stage as solo performer in her hometown of Decatur, IL. Playing anywhere and everywhere as often as possible, she quickly found her place in Decatur's music scene. Becoming the host of one of the local open mics, Ashley helped revitalize and nurture the underground singer-songwriter scene in Decatur.
In the summer of 2008, Ashley released her solo debut, Last One Standing. Since then her songs have been featured on “The Midnight Special” radio show with Rich Warren, “Night Sounds with Dave Leonatti,” and Live 365's Women of Substance Radio. Women of Substance Radio notes: "Ashley's songs have an ethereal and delicate quality... Her reverence for Americana artists like Neil Young and Patty Griffin is unmistakable. She pens lyrics that are unsettling and sometimes even disturbing, as all good lyrics should be." Illinois Entertainer puts it bluntly, "Make no mistake, Ashley Riley has an utterly gorgeous voice and a sound all her own."
Content as an acoustic based songwriter, Ashley was somewhat surprised that her new songs seemed as if they were begging for a band. Teaming up with friends and fellow musicians Matt Comerford and Randall Grimes, Ashley was inspired to head back into the studio and release her second full-length, Most Likely To... in the summer of 2010, with a release party at her hometown's famed Lincoln Theatre and drawing 300 people to the show.
Many shows, songs, and miles later, Ashley is ready once again with a new band and a new album titled All The Pretty Things, a sophisticated collection of nine original songs that simply demand your attention. Returning to Pogo Studio in Champaign, IL, for the third time, Ashley felt comfortable and confident with the process, which encouraged more layers of sound and sparkling arrangements to showcase some of her most clever lyrics. The album is set for release on February 18, 2014.
Five years and three albums later, Ashley is making her voice heard.