Single of the week: Ailsa Tully – Parasite review

by Adam Goldsmith

Ailsa Tully’s debut single for Dalliance Recordings, Drive, showcased her knack for matching hazy, reverberating vocals with moody instrumentals. It was an anthem championing passivity; good times will come to those who wait.

Though her second track, Parasite, sounds familiar – a rhythmic bass guitar once more setting a drifting tempo – it bears witness to a stronger, more confrontational character. Maintaining her cool, the songwriter dismantles misogyny in the music industry without breaking a sweat.

Almost indiscernible, Tully’s choral folk is so fragile that you’re forced to strain to absorb her lyricism. Soft, yet scathing, the Welsh native exhibits real strength of character through the clarity of her observations. Drawing attention to ‘manipulation as fine as it could be,’ the singer-songwriter refuses to wilt: ‘I could break you down you parasite/you just wait until I get the right’.

Like a knowing adult lecturing a child, Tully plays the game, ‘so let’s pretend I’m exquisite,’ while making clear it is she who holds the cards: ‘and yes I am tempting I’ve been on your mind’. Indeed, just because she doesn’t scream and shout doesn’t make her confrontation any less acerbic. Not one to be blindly led, her poetry drips with cynicism: ‘wouldn’t you love to have me/wouldn’t you love to control me.’

A botanical vision, the accompanying creepy music video sees parasitic vines wrap and coil, suffocating the growth of the surrounding greenery. For a track which doesn’t so much climax as bloom, it’s a statement of force from an artist who has more than found her roots.

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