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The Canadian pop duo Ash Koley began making music in 2004, after titular member Ashley Koley and songwriter Phil Deschambault were introduced by a mutual friend. A native of Winnipeg, Koley had been singing since her early childhood years, while Deschambault cut his teeth as a solo artist and guitarist for several Winnipeg groups. Together, the two mined a wide range of pop influences, from new wave artists to more contemporary outfits. They honed their sound for several years before releasing a series of EPs over the course of five months. From late 2009 to early 2010, they rolled out the White, Blue, Red, and Black EPs before their debut album, Inventions (Nettwerk/Sony). The album showcased a left-field pop sound that mixed in some folksy elements, a passionate mix of Regina Spektor-esque quirk and Chairlift indie sensibility. An additional EP and an acoustic album followed in 2012 before the band switched things up in 2016. Their sophomore LP, Elements, added urgent synth pop and hip-hop elements, as heard on first single "Criminal," which was co-written with Justin Gray (Mariah Carey, Amy Winehouse). ~ Andrew Leahey & Neil Z. Yeung