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Ayla Outlines The Inspiration Behind Her Latest Single ‘Bitterness’

Sunshine Coast artist Ayla has returned with new single ‘Bitterness’ and provided the music that helped her create the brooding pop track.

Ayla’s shape-shifting music is driven by her commanding vocals, earning her significant radio and editorial support for her 3 previous singles. It’s clear her layered style of alt-pop is hitting home with many, with 45K+ monthly listeners on Spotify and over 13 Million streams to date.

Related: AAA’s Guide To Bigsound 2022

Produced by Sam Cromack (Ball Park Music) and Sam Thomilson (Oh My My), ‘Bitterness’ explores themes of heartbreak and difficulty healing. She explains: “This song came out of one of the strongest heartbreaks I’d ever felt – a friendship. Writing it was a way to process the hurt I felt at the time. Sitting with the song for around two years, I’ve been able to reflect on it as a sentiment of the darker elements I felt about the situation at the time. In a way I was embarrassed by the feelings I’d had, but I think that both listening to and writing music helps to process your thoughts and feelings -some of which you don’t want to carry around with you. You can get it out, and then let it go.”

Read below to hear Ayla explain the sonic inspirations behind ‘Bitterness’:

Don’t Kill My Vibe’ – Sigrid
“This was the first song I added to the playlist. It was definitely on rotation around the time of writing Bitterness, especially because it covers that sassier side, which I didn’t really lean into as much, so it was a good outlet and a banger to dance to!”

‘She Don’t Use Jelly’ – Flaming Lips
“On the drive down to record with Sam Cromack in Brisbane, I was listening to a Flaming Lips song that had a record warp/slow down effect that I really loved. That inspired this effect being used in Bitterness.”

‘Fill My Gums With Blood’ – Genghar
“This was the initial reference for the drums, which we built from and changed around in the end, but I really love the drums in this track. What we ended up with in ‘Bitterness’ is a bit more of a sampled/electronic feel, but this was a great place to start.”

‘Somebody Told Me’ – The Killers
“This song is more of an emotional reference for Bitterness, as it conveys that kind of confusion and grittiness.”

‘You Only Live Once’ – The Strokes
“I was listening to HEAPS of the Strokes around the time of writing Bitterness, and this one was definitely on high rotation.”

‘Come on Mess Me Up’ – Cub Sport
“Again, this one is more of an emotional reference. This is one of my favourite songs, and I think it really conveys that raw feeling of being so vulnerable to someone that they can really mess you up.”

‘Magnolia’ – Gang of Youths
“This is another one of my favourite songs that I was listening to a lot around the time of writing Bitterness. This one to me really takes you on that journey of being in the worst place you’ve ever been, but then adding a hopefulness to that. I think it’s such an incredible song.”

‘Edge of Town’ – Middle Kids
“This track is a lot more ‘rock’ than ‘Bitterness’, but I think it inspired some of the grittiness/rock sound that does carry through the electronic sound in Bitterness.”

‘Have Fun at Your Party’ – Graace
“I love how Graace navigates that in-between area, not fully in the ‘electro’ world, but using electronic sounds while retaining that intimate ‘humanness’ in her music. This album has been a deeper delve into that ‘electronic’ realm than my previous tracks, but it was important to me to also keep that tactile ‘realness’, particularly in the vocals.”

‘Heartlines’ – Broods
“I love the synth bass in this track. It has just the right amount of buzz and has great movement. This is just the kind of sound I wanted to go for in Bitterness.”

Find the playlist below & listen to ‘Bitterness’ out everywhere now!

Written by Alice Powell