The Ash and The Oak is the work of one man, Simon Leighfield, supported by a cast of 4, Maybe 5.
Based in South Wales, Simon pulls strange and beautiful sounds from a trestle table of technologies old and new. Old synthesisers and drum machines merge effortlessly with digital and acoustic instruments to create an intricate web of delicate melodies and arcane arrangements. His voice has been described by Cerys Matthews as 'unique, otherworldly' and the new album spotlights these qualities beautifully.
Simon's last album 'Searching for the Soft Rays' (Nov 2011, Country Mile Records) was listed by Cerys in an article for the Telegraph Magazine as one of her top 5 modern folk albums of 2012. 'Survival as a kind of Triumph' references the psychedelia of Todd Rundgren, and draws on the Welsh tradition of kaleidoscopic pop forged by bands and artists such as Gruff Rhys and Gorky's Zygotic Mynci, alongside more understated acoustic songs.
Beginning in Spring 2012, the album has evolved through collaborations with musicians and producers from as close to home as Cardiff in Wales and the South Coast of England, to Oklahoma and New York in the USA. In the latter stages of the album's development Simon worked with producer Charlie Francis (REM, High Llamas), who mixed 7 of the songs that appear on the finished album.