Title - Set You Free
Artist - Ashley Riley
For those unaware, Decatur, IL-based Americana singer-songwriter Ashley Riley is set to release her new album, Set You Free, on June 18th, 2021.
Her sound is laced with earthy grit, and at its core, Rileys music is best described as sophisticated indie-Americana.
Indeed, there is a dreamy quality to the songs, yet lyrically they capture the essence of the more honest moments of our days: those seemingly ordinary moments that suddenly take your breath away or make you weak in the knees, those moments that prove to us that oftentimes the most extraordinary moments are found in our everyday lives.
Honest and disarming, the 10-song collection finds Riley stronger and wiser than before, her down-to-the-bone vulnerability on display, tempered with an understanding and sincerity that only comes with time.
The gritty, rootsy moments that garnered favorable comparisons to Patty Griffin and Stevie Nicks remain, backed by lush instrumentation that incorporates genres such as indie rock and pop into her folk niche. This album really encompasses everything that I do, from the really slow ballads to full-on rock songs, says Riley.
1. Close to Me
2. Second Guessing
3. Starting Over
4. One Way
5. Oh Song
6. All Fall Down
7. Make Me
8. We All Need Love
9. Set You Free
10. Cut My Losses
Opening on the atmospheric Close to Me and the foot-tapper Second Guessing, they are seamlessly followed by the gently ornate balladeering of both Starting Over and One Way, and then we get the seasoned troubadour-imbibed Oh Song.
The beautifully free flowing, airy and yet grounded All Fall Down is up next and is backed by the gossamer ballads Make Me and We All Need Love, with the album rounding out on the euphoria of the title track Set You Free, closing on the mid-tempo melodies of Cut My Losses.
Riley has been slowly chipping away at Set You Free for the last two years, taking a slightly different approach.
After the release of her last two full-band albums (Through the Thin , Cant Let You Go ), Riley returned to the solo songwriting roots that fans saw on her first three albums (Last One Standing , Most Likely To , All The Pretty Things ).
Riley says of the experience, I went back into my own little shell of singer-songwriter-ness, and I started enjoying that space again.
She reached out to James Treichler at Wave Upon Wave in Champaign, IL, and headed into the studio in early 2019. Riley worked with Treichler, who served as producer, dialing in the sound for the upcoming album.
It was an interesting process, really digging in and choosing the palette for each song, she recalls. It felt really good to be giving each song a bit more consideration and time. I did not realize how heavily I had relied on different players in my previous bands to help pull out the sound, and it was really fun to step into that role more fully myself.
James has been incredible to work with, especially considering that because of the pandemic the process turned remote, with us sending tracks back and forth to complete the songs. This is the first time in my career that I am working with a producer on my record, and I think it helped to serve the songs to their best potential.
Official Purchase Links
Ashley Riley @ Facebook
Ashley Riley @ Instagram
Ashley Riley @ YouTube