Exclusive: Stream AYLA's triumphant new EP, Let's Talk Monday
Plus she gives us an insightful track by track ahead of her Rare Finds headline shows.
Following on from the release of stirring latest single Porcelain Doll, this Friday sees the release of AYLA's second EP, Let's Talk Monday, just in time for her Rare Finds east coast tour shows to celebrate. The six-track EP finds AYLA flexing her fantastic writing chops, backed with an absolute A-team consisting of co-writer Glenn Sarangapany (Birds Of Tokyo), producer Sam Cromack (Ball Park Music) and mixer Ian Pritchett (Boo Seeka, Angus & Julia Stone), and the results are her most assured work to date. At times soaring and triumphant, at others more introspective and delicate, we're excited to give you a little sneaky advance of Let's Talk Monday below, along with a wonderfully insightful track by track from AYLA.
Check it all out below, along with those Rare Finds tour dates:
Shallow End is the first song I've written on electric guitar - I usually write on acoustic, and sometimes piano. I was up in the top room at our house in the afternoon, messing around on the electric with some picking, and then the song came about. Not long after that I came into contact with Glenn Sarangapanny (from Birds of Tokyo), who was keen to collaborate on something. I sent him through a couple of ideas, but he had a real vision for this one from the start. It was awesome finishing off the song with Glenn and seeing all of his ideas come to life. We worked with some great session musicians on the track, as well as a fantastic producer from Sydney called Nathan Sheehy. It was quite a long process getting this song ready to release. We ended up getting it sit for a few months, before decided to take it to Sam Cromack (who produced the rest of the EP - except Like The Other Kids) who subtly gave it his flavour, causing it to settle in with the other tracks nicely. Working with Glenn was amazing, and he certainly took the song to a place I couldn't have envisaged. It started out as a quiet song from a withdrawn place, but now it feels like more of an anthem about getting out of that place, and I love that.
LIKE THE OTHER KIDS
I was doing the dishes at my parent's house one day and trying to rap. I wrote a few lines, then ended up trying to sing them instead (because I'm better at that than rapping...) and then I was writing this song. The verses are quite wordy, so I wanted to go for a nice spacious, and also uplifting chorus. I was really loving the use of vocal layering at that time, and nothing else was working as a melodic support in the chorus, until we tried the layering and it felt perfect. This song was produced by Elliot Heinrich, a fantastic producer
from the Sunshine Coast who also produced my last EP. The song came out with the uplifting vibe that I wanted, but still with a slightly dark edge, and that fits in perfectly with the lyrical message. It's basically about being different, but being okay with that.
CRY HONEY CRY
This is the oldest song on the EP, but the first song I took in to work on with Sam Cromack. I was lucky enough to work with Sam, having him produce this and three other tracks on the EP. I wrote Cry Honey about six years ago, and have been re-working it over that time. When I've recorded songs previously, I've basically just taken the producer a totally acoustic track (just vocals and bare guitar), and the songs have been built up from there. The process for this song was a little different, as my band and I had already worked out some parts, which were predominantly retained. After tracking and tweaking the parts we had with the band, Sam added his flavour to the song with some production elements that I love, including a bunch of vocal layering that sat in really well with the previous single (Like The Other Kids), and also ended up featuring fairly heavily on the other tracks. Seeing this track blossom to its full capacity in Sam's home studio in Brisbane got me really keen to work with him further and see what he could bring to some other songs I had in mind for the EP.
I wrote this song after spending the night with a group of friends at one of their apartments in Brisbane. It's about friendship, and how that can sometimes feel like more. Funnily enough, I've just realised the tracking order for this EP is the same order that the songs were recorded, all except for Shallow End. New Furniture was the next track I worked on with Sam, and, again, I had some parts worked out with the band, but this one was largely re-worked with Sam in the studio. I was feeling a real DMA's Lay Down vibe for this one -
I could see it working well as a slow build the whole way, working up to a real lift at the end. Again I love the use of vocals in the production on this track. We used the vocals to make a kind of synth pad sound in the second verse, and it was just really fun using the vocals in a different way like that. Sam was wonderful to work with and really encouraged me with any ideas I had for the songs, as well as playing the guitar parts myself where possible, which is something I've never been overly confident with. I believe he said something along the lines of, 'they're your songs, so no one can play them with emotion as true as you can'.
I'm pretty pale, like, it's hard to find make-up that goes to my level. I've been called a porcelain doll by a few people, but it was just one that I wrote this song to. He loved it because it was his song, despite the message behind it. For the most part, Porcelain Doll is basically a direct letter. The songs I write are usually more of a mixture of different thoughts, or more metaphorical, but this one is pretty direct language, just talking. With that conversation nature, we kept the verses pretty sparse so that the message could come across. The choruses and bridge build, and I love how that came through. This was a song I hadn't looked at for years, so I was really excited to see it come to life again, and grow to the place it did.
TOO COLD FOR JUNE
This song actually came about when I was trying to re-work a top 40 song for a radio cover. I'd found a different tuning that I liked and worked out some chords, and just ended up singing my own lyrics over the top. The lyrics felt like they flowed for this one, and came out really easily. The chorus lyric "We were in love when we first met/because it felt appropriate", was one that I'd pencilled into my notes a little while before writing the song, and ended up coming to when I needed a chorus. It was a really fun song to write and produce, and it';s also heaps of fun to do live.
Fri 12 Jan - Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane w/ Royal & The Southern Echo, Asha Jefferies & DJ Tom Bloomfield
Fri 19 Jan - The Penny Black, Melbourne w/ Otious, Magnets & British India DJs
Sat 20 Jan - OAF Gallery Bar, Sydney w/ Aikonawena, The Longboys and Rare Finds DJs
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