Ashley Riley is a singer songwriter in the true meaning of the word: her own voice, her own music, her own path. On “All the Pretty Things”, she displays her talent in various styles: Made of Dreams is a pure folk song à la Kristen Hersh while the title track of her third album is a catchy and bouncy pop song.

Like many female singer songwriters, she shows a lot of charm. Not by being sexy like pop stars do. Simply through her voice and the feeling of shared privacy that emanates from her songs. She sings with authenticity and bets on her unique voice rather than trying to sound like others.

It isn’t all songs that are noteworthy on “All the Pretty Things. Bulletproof and Hard to Hold aren’t unforgettable. But many titles here have that little je-ne-sais-quoi that makes them stand out. Love Shark featured two voice tracks that make it captivating, while Trouble has character and a nice blend of acoustic guitar muffing and electric guitars that are directly influenced by Tanya Donelly’s work in the 90s, with or without Belly.


Her website states: “Riley has been a staple in the music scene of her hometown Decatur, IL, where she got her start hosting open mics in 2008, helping to revitalize and nurture the underground singer-songwriter scene in town. After starting as an acoustic-based songwriter on her first record, Riley realized by her second album that her songs begged for a band, and her next two albums got the full band treatment, to glowing reviews. New Noise Magazine called her “one of the best obscure female artists I’ve heard in, well, ever.” I can only agree to this.

Overall, “All the Pretty Things” is an album that showcases the skills of a young and upcoming talent from Illinois. Her next albums will determine if she will find a way to stand out from the pack.
Her next effort is due pretty soon, “Through the Thin”, will come out in April 2016.

All the Pretty Things
(Riled Up Records, 2014)

-Genre: female folk pop
-In the same field as Tanya Donelly, Kristen Hersh, Angela Desveaux, Patty Griffin

Buy the album on the artist’s official website
Get a free download of the album on Noise Trade
Follow the artist via her Facebook page
Listen to videos on the artist’s YouTube channel

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About The Author

Nicolas Pelletier

Mélomane invétéré plongeant dans tous les genres et époques, Nicolas Pelletier a publié 6 000 critiques de disques et concerts depuis 1991, dont 1100 chez emoragei magazine et 600 sur, dont il a également été le rédacteur en chef de 2009 à 2014. Il publie "Les perles rares et grands crus de la musique" en 2013, lance le site RREVERB en 2014, et devient stratège numérique des radios de Bell Média en 2015, participant au lancement de la marque iHeartRadio au Canada en 2016. Il dirige maintenant la stratégie numérique d'ICI Musique, la radio musicale de Radio-Canada.