17 year old Ainsley Costello is a girl on a mission. One of the most pro-active artists that we’ve heard in our studio at Send Me Your Ears. Her career started young, with her debut album coming out when she was just 15 years old, Costello’s taken music seriously for as long as she can probably remember. The fact that at just 17 she is working on a degree in music business whilst also pursuing a full time career is testament to her commitment. In 2020 she and her family moved to Nashville and we can only imagine the kind of support that someone whose family is willing to uproot themselves. Costello must be very grateful to what sounds like a support network to die for.
With that in mind, its intriguing that her latest single, Little Sister, plays with the idea of sibling rivalry. The song tells a heartfelt tale of living your own true self and not being overshadowed by an older sibling; “when they look at the family picture, I won’t just be the little sister”
There were moments in Little Sister that we were reminded of Pink’s Family Portrait, but perhaps it was more the raw and open style of lyricism than the vocalist herself. Costello has what you might describe as a “typical country voice”. She executes twang in her voice particularly well.
Little Sister is a typical Nashville country rock song. It is a well written song that ticks all of the female country musician boxes; its relatable, simple and the lyrics are personal and empowering.
We’d like to draw particular attention to the guitar solo in Little Sister. The choice of notes, tone and the progression are spot on. The way the top and bottom of the EQ are removed in the vocal breakdown after the solo is a nice touch and serve to maintain interest.
This is a song that feels life affirming and relatable. Its not your typical Taylor Swift song about the latest guy that she dumped, its a portrait of family life that many teenagers and young adults will relate to.
From a production point of view, we think the song could do with more representation in the top 2 octaves of the song. The only sound represented in this area is the sibilance in the vocals, leaving the backing instruments just slightly dull in the mix. A shelf boost of the top 2 octaves will bring out some more brightness and life in the rest of the track – especially the drums.
For a 17 year old, Little Sister, and indeed Costello’s ever expanding back catalogue, is an exciting look into a bright future. Costello should be capitalising on her successes and working on pushing her social media and getting her name out there. There’s a lot of promise ahead for such a hardworking and determined young woman and we wish her all the success in the world.