Written By | Hannah Robinson
It’s a Friday night, 30th of August to be exact, and Brunswick’s Howler Bar is the place to be. The venue is filling with an adoring crowd, eagerly awaiting the show to start. The performance in her home city has brought lots of Ainslie Wills’ friends and family out to support her and even though the floor is filled with fans, their loving anticipation alone could fill any empty space in the room.
To begin the night, Melbourne’s own sing-songwriter Loni Rae Thomson delivers her stunningly strong vocals and over her indie pop tunes. Although I wouldn’t place her strictly in a genre-specific box as the folk and jazz influences are sneaking out from underneath her powerful sound. The combination of her raw lyricism and soaring melodies somehow displaying her vulnerability and strength at the same time.
By the time Ainslie Wills graces the stage the room is packed with her loving friends, family and fans, cherishing the night that has finally come. Wills brings the audience along with her into the world of newly released album, All You Have Is All You Need, as she begins flowing through the track-listing, in exact order. With chords alone that pull on hearts strings there is nothing to prepare our emotions for the powerful, honest vocals. If Ainslie’s voice could be visually represented, you’d be watching the most beautiful sunrise over open plains. Her tone is dynamic and her range is extensive but she controls it with ease.
Wills is a natural storyteller and her lyrics are extremely relatable, as though she is speaking your mind without you having said a word. She explores the Fear of Missing Out that creeps it’s way into our hearts in one form or another, that makes us start questioning every life decision we’ve ever made. The thought-provoking,introspective tone tightens it’s grip on the room as Society begins. There’s something hauntingly beautiful about standing in a public place full of strangers all reflecting on the pressures we place on each other. We are society, we all feel these pressures, but Ainslie is giving us this moment to acknowledge our silent fears and throw them away as we lose ourselves in this moment.
The crowd dances through the likes of Drive and Island and the emotional roller coaster takes another turn as we’re awestruck by Clear Air After the Stormanda stripped back, solo keyboard version of Running Second.The air is thick with appreciation and the crowd radiates love as Ainslie finishes the night with the title track of her new album, All You Have Is All You Need, and says her thank yous before she departs and the stage fades to black.
Photo Credit: Hannah Robinson