The Hollywood North Files – [CA]se Study #004 : Ava Wild : Take Me Out Dancing : YYC

Ava Wild’s new single, “Take Me Out Dancing” is a passionate piece of indie poignancy in which her effortless delivery tiptoes across a velvety piano surface. I’m instantly wrapped in a calming sensation of sonder, like wandering through suburbia late at night, momentarily glimpsing into people’s lamplit windows, and wondering what intricate ruminations are running through their heads.

Wild has a delicate way of mesmerizing her listeners with her graceful poetry and gentle instrumentation. You would never guess that this track—as well as the rest of the album—was produced on an old Roland interface and a 2011 Macbook Air.

Truly, Ava has made the most out of her solo effort to liberate the inner grooves which have traced the silhouettes of her musical mind since she first picked up a guitar at the age of twelve in Regina, Saskatchewan.

When I caught up with Ava in her modern, second-storey studio apartment on the outer edge of downtown Calgary, I sensed that she is genuinely thrilled to be putting her own solo productions out into the world.

I asked her about the development of her talents, and she explained, “I decided to start making my own music because I didn’t relate to what was on the radio … I wrote a song for my Mom; it made people cry, and I thought that was exciting (LOL) … so my voice developed through playing guitar—it went hand-in-hand.”

Ms. Wild moved here to Calgary ten months ago from Regina and Dysart, Saskatchewan (where she grew up equal parts on a farm and in the city) to pursue independence and chase the next chapter of her music career.

When I asked her what it felt like to move to a bigger city, she explained, “I’ve been trying to design my life to be what I’ve always wanted, which is both exciting and terrifying because I know that I want to live alone and be financially independent, and I have a huge commitment to making it work.”

What I find very endearing about Ava’s debut album Properesque is that she is using it as a vessel to bring her childhood with her to Calgary. She did this by intentionally recording the entire album in the home she grew up in, knowing it would be the last music she made before she moved out.

“How many opportunities would I have to be in the house that raised me?” she remarked, as she traced her steps back to where this indie-folk project found its origins. I always find it fascinating to hear about artists who take the time to enjoy the gravity and sentimentality of purposeful stillness within significant spaces.

Truly, it was Wild’s acute intentionality which brought this music to life, knowing that although she didn’t have access to high-end audio equipment, her album would come to life—not in spite of—but because of her tech limitations.

She reinforced this thought during our interview stating, “I had to give myself permission to work with what I had … the way I approach producing music is the same way I approach taking pictures and video: like it’s a moment in time.”

This comparison to photography and videography really resonates with me because a lot of visual work that I enjoy the most has a degree of grittiness to it, lending a distinct nostalgic energy to the work.

As I write this article, I am travelling with my family back to Saskatoon, where my Dad grew up. Now that I think of it, “Take Me Out Dancing” does have a wistful energy; it makes me miss the home I grew up in as the gentle piano chords linger in the air.

“Properesque” is set to release September 22nd. The album contains a total of 9 tracks, including recently released singles “The Falling in Love with Kind” and “Ambitious Intuition”.

To build hype for the release, she’ll be performing one Calgary show at the King Eddy on September 8th, another gig in Regina at The Cure on September 16th, and the following day in Saskatoon at Amigos.

Growing up playing viola for eight years, Wild benefited from great music teachers who allowed her to explore “how pieces are composed, and the breath within music.” These lessons went a long way in enabling her to write and record her third single of 2022, “Take Me Out Dancing.”

And it’s a damn good thing there is breath within her music, because her artistry is stealing the breath right out of my lungs—and I’m sure that I’m not the only one who’ll be left breathless this September 22nd when the rest of the album is officially released.

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