Ainslie Wills

29 January 2013

North Melbourne

This Is What I Write

Ainslie Wills is what the Australian music industry needs more of: Integrity, depth, musical mastery and above everything else, honesty. Her music portrays an old soul with a young heart and a strong mind who has been put on this earth to captivate us with her melodic masterpieces.  She has certainly captivated me.

In mid 2011 I had the privilege of being asked to help Ainslie Wills record. Ainslie was already making waves in radio land. Her song “Wide Load” had been given generous support on triple j. I had been a fan of Ainslie’s music for around 10 years since attending university with her so I knew how amazing the opportunity was and eagerly accepted.  I sat down with Ainslie and Lawrence Folvig (band member and co-producer) and began to plan what would eventually become her debut album “You go your way I’ll go mine.”

The job description was to take a snapshot in time of Wills’ music and to capture the raw emotion and excitement of her live band with which she had spent the previous 12 months touring.  We were also keen on stepping away from the typical recording studio to create a more relaxed environment. We opted for Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and, in the middle of winter, proceeded to transform a humble beach house into the birthplace of her amazing debut album.

The band (Nat Lewis, Arron Light and Jules Pascoe) under the guidance of Wills and Folvig, poured their hearts into some of the most breathtaking music I’ve had the pleasure of being involved with. The weather was wild, the band was tight, the songs were incredible, and the energy in the room as they played was electric. After 10 days of tracking (broken up with delicious home cooking and walking the rugged Victorian coastline) we had the guts of the album done and it sounded stunning. In the following months, we laid down the finishing touches including lush strings, and layered backing vocals and put the polishes on songs like “Fighting Kind”, “Stop Pulling the String” and this dreamy little number “This Is What I Write.”

The debut showcases Wills and Folvig’s songwriting prowess and musical proficiency and gives fans a glimpse of what to expect over what will no doubt be a long and illustrious musical career.  Wills’ music is timeless yet innovative, playful yet powerful. With a nod to Buckley and Yorke and a sideways glance at St Vincent, Wills will align herself with the musical greats, and you can tell everyone you saw it all begin.

“You go your way, I’ll go mine” is out March 4th 2013

Words by Jono Steer.