Artists on Artists
On 30, Nov 2015 | In Artists on Artists | By jane
On her latest EP Oh The Gold, Melbourne artist Ainslie Wills shines a bright light on the beauty and fragility of the human condition. Alongside longtime writing partner Lawrence Folvig and Brisbane producer Matt Redlich, her latest musical offerings come to life with stunning depth and intricacy. Each track unveils the perfect union of concept and production. This is soul-enriching, world-class art with a timeless pop sensibility.
The vocal arrangement and production on opening track ‘Drive’ immediately reveal an all-encompassing sonic creativity, evident from the initial vocal swell imitating the Doppler effect of a passing car. This song is all about escape, with fluid vocals throughout, creating a sense of constant motion. The powerful outro displays a masterful use of broad stereo image, the psycho-acoustic effect easily transporting the listener to an open highway in the middle of the night. ‘Drive’ is similarly evocative of cars swooping by in the night to the classic Rickie Lee Jones’ ‘Last Chance Texaco’ outro. Where Jones’ highway is desolate, Wills’ conveys an urgency and manic sense of freedom.
‘Hawaii’s’ rich unfolding melody tips its hat to Stevie Wonder. Also evident is the production’s driving 80’s feel, with delays and drum treatments opening into a rich emotive chorus, synths and vocal arrangements paying homage to the work of Peter Gabriel.
‘Constellations’ is the single, and a standout track, showcasing the glorious tone and effortless mastery of Ainslie’s vocal work. The vocal arrangement dances between a bed of intimate piano and delay-sodden guitar into a choral lushness extending out like a clear night sky with immense breadth. It’s as if the song itself mirrors the expansive nature of our galaxy.
This afternoon, while I was listening to this record, birds flocked to the little pond in my Melbourne backyard, arriving in greater numbers than ever before, launching from the banana plants and splashing around, singing counter-melodies for the entire duration of ‘Constellations’. This celebratory feathered-friends skinny-dipping party was no coincidence. This EP has the kind of delicate beauty that easily merges with nature. This is the work of a sophisticated artist, traveling dynamically between complex emotional soundscapes and epic anthemic dream-state pop. Whether you are feeling introspective, creating an intimate space with a partner, or celebrating with friends, ‘Oh The Gold’ will provide a luscious soundtrack.
Buy a copy on Bandcamp
Buy a copy on iTunes
Visit Ainslie’s Website
Review written by Aurora Jane for Mojo Junction – ‘Artists on Artists’