Ashley Eriksson (darling to many for her work with LAKE) has achieved a status few artists ever know: her song "Island Song" can be hummed by almost any teenager in the United States (a surprising discovery she made while teaching Portland's Rock Camp for Girls last summer). Used as the closing theme for Cartoon Network's cult sensation Adventure Time, "Island Song" has over a million views on Youtube and has generated dozens of cover videos, making Ashley Eriksson the equivalent of a "household name" to the youth of America.
Now Ashley Eriksson has recorded Colours [KLP245], her inspired solo debut on K, and a collection of piano pieces, ballads and songs for her fans around the world. Tucker Martine (producer of LAKE, Decemberists) planted the idea that Ashley should make a solo record after they worked together in 2011, but it wasn't until returning from a trip to Sweden that Ashley was motivated to create Colours, and her vision for a solo piano album quickly evolved to include songs with her beloved '70s style of instrumentation and pop sensibility (most strikingly her cover of "Ett Stilla Regn," a song by the tragic Swedish pop team Ted and Kenneth Gärdestad, adapted in the style "Me and My Arrow" by Harry Nilsson). Because Ashley engineered and recorded the album herself (using the same 8-track she's been recording with since she was a teenager), she was able to capture her collection of songs in a variety of old haunts, including favorite grange halls and churches, her tiny shed in northern Sweden, friends' houses, and in the Whidbey Island studio-trailer where she lived with husband (and LAKE collaborator) Eli Moore.
It’s the emotional space Ashley reserved for herself while recording Colours that makes it such a personal and vivid statement. Of writing the beautiful, lead ballad "Why Are You So Helpless?” Ashley says “I dreamt this song while I was sleeping in the little shed behind my dad's house in northern Sweden. I was in a record store and a John Lennon song came on I'd never heard before. It was a 70's 'super group' album, like the Band or CSNY or something like that. When I woke up I was anxious to capture the song. I recorded the demo on my phone and sang with an acoustic guitar I had with me.” In a similar way, all the songs on Colours are collected from her dreams, expanded by graceful piano notes and the peaceful echoes of fire-lit evenings.
Ashley Eriksson currently resides in Olympia, WA.