Ashley Park is the new solo pseudonym of Vancouver musician Terry Miles, late of the bands Saturnhead and Cinnamon. Miles does just about all the work on the project, from the expected songwriting and singing to playing most of the instruments, to production duties to designing his albums' graphics. Miles makes little effort to hide his influences, which are uniformly laudable: the pioneering country-rock of The Byrds, the late '60s and early '70s hippie-dippy pop of The Beach Boys, and the classic acoustic Americana of Neil Young (whose lovely "Tell Me Why" Miles covers quite faithfully).
Miles's predilection for the sunny American sounds of three decades ago places him decisively alongside the multitudinous members of the Elephant Six Collective (and the many others who sound like they ought to be members). Warm, lazy melodies are the order of the day, often augmented by the dulcet harmonies of singer Kelly Haigh. The instrumental choices just heighten the feeling: some bouncy, bluesy electric guitar, a sleepy slide like a cloud floating across the sky, a bit of squeaky acoustic strum. Vintage organ tones dogpaddle their way through most songs, with pianos and vibes and horns and gentle goofball noises softening the edges on a regular basis as well. You get the gist: sweet music for blue skies full of big fluffy clouds.
Miles issued the first Ashley Park album, Town and Country, in late 2000. He quickly got back to work, after recruiting Haigh, and the next year resurfaced with the dreamy The American Scene. That sophomore release, recorded in Miles's living room studio, is a collection of impressionistic meditations on the essence of Americana. It features "The Old Masquerade" and "The Last Train Home." Read more on Last.fm