At the tender age of 13, US native Ainsley Costello was already dipping her toe into the music industry. At age 16, she graduated from high school and started studying at the renowned Berklee College of Music. Now, at only 18 years of age, Costello is showing her natural musical talent by sharing heartfelt material on a global scale. Even with the numerous teen musicians making a splash on the music scene, I still find it interesting to see youngsters rival established artists in sophistication, style and musicality – Ainsley Costello is one of these youngsters.
Already known for her engaging performances across the Pacific Northwest, backed by a full band of adult musicians I might add, Ainsley Costello is no stranger to the music industry. Since her well-received debut album release in 2020, she has been turning heads among audiences and critics. Featured on New Music Weekly, Rock The Pigeon, Less Than 1000 Followers, Edgar Allan Poets and Eat This Music, Costello is considered one of the greatest young artists to emerge from the USA. The latest addition to her discography is the single ‘Little Sister’.
Following her tracks ‘Rescued’, ‘5’ 2”’, and ‘I Mean That I Mean It’, ‘Little Sister’ is Costello’s first release in 2022. Evidently inspired by the likes of Hayley Williams and Taylor Swift, Costello’s new single is a powerful rock-inspired melody accompanied by a rich and bold vocal execution. A beautifully textured song, the rise and fall of guitars and drums align well with the emotion within the poignant message. It is as if the well-rounded arrangement takes you by the hand navigating a kaleidoscopic soundscape. While the song has a kaleidoscopic appeal to it, it is the message that makes the song truly poignant. Not necessarily an upbeat track, but with a toe-tapping nature, ‘Little Sister’ is bold and hypnotic.
Using a personal narrative, Costello drags her audience further into the sonic whirlpool sharing a relatable tale. No, it isn’t necessarily a tale but a more introspective exploration of the protagonist’s mindset. Touching on issues of isolation, vulnerability and confusion, Costello approaches social media and how obsession can influence people’s identities. Costello shares that the admiration of “influencers” leads to an idolisation of these individuals – “it’s so easy to allow parts of our idols’ identities to become ingrained in our own.”
The thing is, while there is a strong focus on the negativity of “celebrity” obsession, ‘Little Sister’ has an empowering element. By looking at the intricacy of human nature and defying the desire to “walk in the shadow of [their] light”, Costello makes a conscious effort to be individualistic and authentic.
Youthfulness oozes from ‘Little Sister’, but I remain astounded at the sophistication and maturity of this young musician.