I’ve thought long and hard about how I want this site to respond to music, and I’ve come to the conclusion it should feel like a conversation between friends. Music blogs proved to be at their most effective in the mid 2000s, when they operated as a community, and new music was a curated experience. I can’t compete with the resources of the major media outlets, but I can offer a personal and trusted voice.
Multi-instrumentalist Ailis (pronounced Ay-Lish was discovered courtesy of The VPME and it is my belief moving forward that northern writers should consciously be working towards a more collaborative era.
I often talk about the joy of hearing a raw demo for the first time, knowing you’ve unearthed a tiny bit of treasure, but equally exhilarating is watching an artist develop and fully realise their potential. Ailis is certainly on her way, having previously been an in-demand session musician with artists such as PINS, she announces her arrival with the mesmerizing and entirely self-produced single (Give Me) Just A Little Bit, demonstrating a knack for a pop hook that feels both radio friendly, but with enough gritty edge rumbling underneath to really turn heads.
But the story in creating this project is far more compelling than technical ability alone. having overcome hearing loss as a child, her sensitivity to vibration has provided Ailis with a distinctly unique perspective. She explains, “My journey in music unconventionally started when meningitis led to single-sided deafness because it changed the way that I heard and felt music forever. As a deaf, female musician, I am proud to be releasing my music and representing my communities.”
I think it’s pretty important at this point to highlight the exceptional photography by Manchester based Debbie Ellis who has certainly built a reputation for delivering memorable press images. As part of the release and to amplify the lyrics, a ‘tongue-in-cheek’ visual project was created, where Ailis became abstract pieces of furniture. Debbie said “We were particularly excited about shooting the lamp piece because it’s that idea that society’s expectation is we’re meant to look great and light up a room, but at the same time, stand in the corner and be quiet”.