Arts/Entertainment

Ayala ‘This Year’ Album Review

British-Irish Ayala mixes major-label hit material with a natural-born authenticity and earthiness

If you were to combine the talent of Amy Winehouse, Paloma Faith, Meghan Trainor and Beth Ditto you may think that an artist like that couldn’t be possible. But think again, Ayala, a British-Irish singer-songwriter is bringing home that great Brit-Pop feel along with some exciting influences.

Her rootsy pop songs are primed and polished, honed by years of paying her dues in the independent underground scene in London. Ayala offers up songs that tick many boxes when going through the spectrum of emotions.

Ayala presents herself as a sophisticated 1950’s pin-up, always finished with intricate flowers or silk wrapped into her hair. Looking and listening to Ayala you are treated to many sides of her personality – sassy soul, funky Latin, sweet folk and a little blues.

Bouncy midnight hair, piercing blue eyes and a dazzling smile, Ayala is not only a natural beauty but her vocals do not disappoint either!

The album ‘This Year’ has a British pop sound with folk and blues influences as well as touches of the more exotic Mexican / Latin flavours, influenced from Ayala’s time travelling and meeting new music influencers.

attention-grabbing sound

The newly released album opens with an attention-grabbing sound of sultry vocals, electric guitar and punchy drums leading you into what you will think will be a foot tapping rock n roll song. But just as you’re getting comfortable ‘Russian Roulette’ switches things up by introducing the sweetness of a the ukulele, changing the “don’t mess with me” attitude of the song into something a little more playful.

The opening track remains upbeat and fast-paced, minus a small drop in the track which gives the feeling of being at a 1920’s speakeasy. The surprising changes are enjoyable and anything but predictable, this truly immerses you into the journey that the album is about to take you through.

Other strong songs include “Don’t Fix It” and “Sirens’, there’s always a twinkle in the eye even when Ayala sings songs about keeping a relationship in line or getting pushed to her limits.

The rest of the album presents the listener with a feeling of nostalgia and the hope of starting afresh. A key song that encompasses this is “Maybe”, mixed with sweet and sorrowful vocals accompanied by building hopefulness through the instrumental.

The array of instruments used throughout the album is really refreshing; the trumpets in “Sirens” are not only funky but remind us of the journey Ayala has been on whilst writing and recording the album. It’s great to hear the inclusion of brass and international influences within the Brit-Pop architecture.

This Year is an anthem declaration of good intentions for the year ahead”

The stand out song is her 2015 single, “This Year”, it is an anthemic declaration of good intentions of the year that gives the listener the mix of nostalgic and hopefulness for the New Year. I cannot wait to hear it on the radio.

Ayala has been writing and recording in London, Mexico and LA, where she wrote her single ‘5157 Miles’ (released September 2014), which depicts the distance between LA and Dublin – inspired from when she was working in LA and missing home.

Not only has the emerging artist been busy recording her album but she has recently launched her own TV show, ‘The Ayala Show’, on every Friday at 10pm on the Irish TV channel (Sky 191). The show focuses on life as an artist, a presenter and as a songwriter. Guests include names such as multi platinum selling Gilbert O’Sullivan, Mercury Prize nominee Eska, Mobo nominee Natalie Williams, X Factor finalist Paije Richardson, Mamas Gun, individual members from UK rock band The Feeling, Latin superstars Noel Schajris and Horacio Palencia, Grammy Award winning The Swingle Singers, and well, the list simply goes on.

“TV show boasting an all-star cast of London’s musicians”

Naturally, Ayala’s album recordings and live shows follow suit of her TV show (The Ayala Show) boasting an all-star cast of London’s top musicians, with band mates who also play alongside Ed Sheeran, Jamie Cullum, Tom Jones, Jamiroquai, Simply Red, Mark Ronson and many more successful artists.

2014 saw Ayala have a top 5 club hit in the UK with her song ‘The Sun Has Come’ remixed by DJ Joey Negro, who has also worked with international stars such as Kelly Rowland, Mariah Carey, the Sugababes, Diana Ross, Lionel Ritchie and Pet Shop Boys. This track was released as a double A side with “On My Way” reaching the top 10 in the (Music Week) pop club charts.

Plans for 2016 include the release of a duet with the multi platinum selling Artist Gilbert O’Sullivan on his new single ‘I Guess I’ll Always Love You’. She also has plans to launch into the Mexican and Latin market in 2016.

The album concludes with a simply beautiful promise called “On My Way” and is truly a fitting end to the album’s journey. Very emotive and inspiring, we know that this rising star is well and truly on her way to the top.

 

To listen and buy Ayala’s album, ‘This Year’ visit:

iTunes (digital copy): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/this-year/id1065060440

or Ayala’s Website (hard copy): http://www.musicofayala.com/store.html

 

Watch The Ayala Show Friday’s at 10PM on Irish TV

(Sky Channel 191 / Freesat 400 / Online at bit.ly/AyalaLIVE)

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