TRACK REVIEW: Ay Wing - Ice Cream Dream



Ay Wing


PHOTO CREDITSara Herrlander

  Ice Cream Dream





The track, Ice Cream Dream, is available via:




Berlin, Germany


27th June, 2018


THIS time around…


PHOTO CREDITSara Herrlander

I have a few things I want to look at. Ay Wing is someone I am familiar with and I always love what she produces. I will talk about artists who can consistently produce smart and professional songs – together with great videos – and summer-ready tracks that summon the sun and actually stay in the head. I will also look at artists who want to get the audience involved and create a complete musical experience; those based in Berlin and what the scene is like there at the moment – finishing by talking a bit about Ay Wing and where she is heading. It has been a little while since I approached Ay Wing and what she is doing. I love her music and how she has progressed but, over the past few months, she has made some big steps and produced, what I think, is her finest work. I am looking out at music and seeing all varieties of Pop and Alternative come through. It is interesting watching artists come through and what is available in the market. I have talked about Pop a lot and can see it is split between the more commercial brand: that which is radio-friendly and does not necessarily challenge the mind too much. That sort of music aims itself at a pre-teen/teen market and can produce some great tracks. There is another camp that produces deeper and more serious Pop – this can be quite introverted but aims itself at a broader demographic. If one looks at Ay Wing, you can see she falls between the two camps. Her music has a sense of fun and energy but its lyrics and mood are a lot more intelligent and nuanced. It is possible to produce great Pop music but not have to dumb it down or pander to a particular audience. Look at a song like Ice Cream Dream and you get a classy and sparkling song that has lots to recommend. I will speak about the song in more depth but, when listening, you have a real sense of quality and professionalism comes through.


PHOTO CREDITSara Herrlander

Ay Wing has always been known for her whip-smart songs and incredible delivery. I feel Pop music struggles to unite the masses and projects a particular image. We tend to associate the genre with the more commercial and throwaway – has that always been the way? I listen to what is coming through the mainstream and popular radio and there are a few good tracks but, largely, the music does not really stay in the mind. The artists who go a bit deeper and take Pop in a new direction and the ones I am really backing. It is a hard trick to produce something fun and light whilst ensuring it gets under the skin and stays in the mind. Ay Wing is one of those artists who manages to keep her trademark sound but produce something incredibly different every time. That might sound like a contradiction but you only need to look at how songs like Strange and Ice Cream Dream differ. She is a fantastic artist who knows what the people want and delivers every time. I have nothing against those who like their Pop music with the maximum fun and little substance but, for me, there is a lot more to cling onto when you have to think and are properly motivated. There is so much music out there right now – one cannot afford to produce cheap and lacklustre songs. AY Wing makes the listener bond with the song. Her lyrics mix sassiness and humour with emotion and revelation. Her compositions are delightfully multifarious and candid; the production is always sharp and wonderful – you get an incredible experience with every song released. It is not only the smart lyrics one is drawn to with Ay Wing; she pokes fun at fads and trends and can make us think and laugh at the same time. Ice Cream Dream looks at fitness fads and how seriously we take our leisure time. She is just the sort of artist we need to embrace and keep close to our chest.


PHOTO CREDITSara Herrlander

I love how Ay Wing manages to produce great videos for each of her songs. Again, in Pop, you do get a few great promotional videos but many of them lack any real imagination and humour. Maybe that goes back to the song itself: if the lyrics are cliché and routine then that is not going to provoke something imaginative and incredible. I feel modern Pop, and videos, is defined by wastefulness and missed opportunities. There is a new breed coming along that is taking the genre in a new direction and adding their own touch to Pop. Ay Wing, on her latest track, has ticked every box and produced something hugely enjoyable. Ice Cream Dream is summer-ready and makes you get up and dance. Maybe that is quite ironic in a way. The song looks at our obsession with the gym and fitness; how it lacks any real looseness and we can get very po-faced about everything. The lyrics and videos, instead, make you smile and urge the listeners to get up and move their body. It is summer and, with the sun showing no sign of abating; we need those songs that keep the mood high and makes the senses fizz and spark. That is another thing that has struck my mind. In terms of positivity and energy; how many songs have you heard lately that have a genuine sense of fun and put you in a better frame of mind? I feel songs either go for fun and exciting but come off as empty and unspectacular. You do get artists who rival Ay Wing and her style of music but, to me, there are not enough. When the weather is like this, we need to hear songs that keep us all positive and join us all together. I will move on to another subject but it is worth noting how few Pop artists there are out there who manage to balance intelligent and observational with the rousing and joyful. If we can encourage more artists to take this approach – and take their songwriting in a new direction – then it will create a stronger and more inspiring mainstream.


PHOTO CREDITSara Herrlander

Another impressive facet of Ay Wing is the way she involves people in the music and makes it an immersive thing. I bond with music in different ways but am always more moved by artists that want to engage and drag you into the song. Too many artists are either very serious or produce music that falls a bit flat and pushes you away. This is a discussion in itself but my point remains: if you hear a song and am physically and emotionally moved then that is most of the work done. Ay Wing has these bouncy synths and big beats. You have that physical experience and are compelled by everything going on. Her summer-ready jams and indelible songs are designed to linger in the mind and connect the listener with artist. I am not suggesting other artists are more concerned with profit and quick delivery but I love those who take time and craft songs that infiltrate the brain and really activates the senses. It is hard to describe but, with Ay Wing, there is so much going on. From her changeable colours and consistent quality through to her fully-worked and stunning videos – there is a complete and ready artist waiting to strike. She might be away from the mainstream right now but you have to think, in time, she will get to the big leagues and be able to influence. Right now, her fanbase is growing and there is a loyal core that backs everything she does. That is a sign of an artist who never lets the quality dip and knows what people want. The songwriter puts so much detail into the music and spends a great deal of time crafting songs that demand repeated listens. I am one of those people who consume a lot of music and, most of the time, it can be hard to recall and retain the sounds. Some artists provoke remembrance but it is tricky in this day and age to pen something that stays in the consciousness.


Ay Wing is different in that respect. She wants people to sing her songs and, when performed live, chant and perform with her. I feel we need to create artists who are a complete package and do not only create songs for quick commercial gain. That is an interesting line to draw. I can identify some great mainstream acts who will run and run but, as things get more competitive and busy; artists coming through need to think about more than the music. If you can pen songs that have incredible compositions, memorable lyrics and wonderful lead performances then that is an accomplishment in itself. It is hard to deliver all three but, if you can, then that is something to be proud of. Music is about visuals and creating projects. Recording fantastic videos that add something new and stand aside from the pack is another thing new artists need to consider. Another point to bear in mind is following up songs and keeping intrigue high. I mean, rather than produce songs after song and not think about longevity; artists need to create a personality and characteristics. Ay Wing puts her all into music and you can tell, from the first few notes of any track, that it is her work. That is what I mean by characteristics and personality. Too many artists produce songs but they do not link together and it is hard to separate them from their peers. Ay Wing can write about different subjects and broaden her horizons but you know it is one of her songs because there is a common link and distinct D.N.A. I hope my words – rambling at times though they can be! – show why Ay Wing is an artist with a big future. Pop is a challenging and demanding genre; it is tricky to succeed and do something genuinely original. I wanted to look at Berlin and why it is producing great artists.


VIDEO STILLJean-Christophe Dupasquier

Berlin is a city that is attracting more and more people right now. Every city has its own blend and brew but, to me, Berlin is one of the most stunning and appealing areas to create. I am seeing so many artists move there because it offers everything they want. London is still fashionable and desired but more and more people are flocking there. It is a city where you can find success but there is not a lot of room and chance for breath. Maybe eyes are shifting elsewhere but, as rents get more expensive and cities here become busier, people are looking abroad and other parts of the world. Berlin is a city that has always pulled great musicians in and been the source of inspiration – the likes of Iggy Pop and David Bowie have created some of their best work whilst there. One gets a cosmopolitan and diverse vibe but things are a little less hustled and expensive. You can move around and make your way without being jostled and compacted. If you want to rent an apartment or stay for a while, it is not going to break the bank and leave you poor. It is the mix of languages and cultures that stand out to me. People are excited by the music coming through and the creative spirit in the air. I have never been to Berlin myself but I know the music scene is incredible and expanding. People in Berlin are friendly – for the most part – and venues are sprouting up all over the place. From Junction Bar to Quasimodo through to Monarch and SO36 – new artists have choices and can get their music heard. Radio stations are supportive and it is not as hard as you’d imagine moving to Berlin and climbing up the ladder. One of the biggest reactions people get from Berlin is the openness and sense of relaxation. For a city that is popular and modern, that might seem like an impossible thing.


VIDEO STILLJean-Christophe Dupasquier

Musicians can go to the German capital and not get overly-stressed and fatigued. Many like-minded souls can be found there and it is a great place to be. I can understand why Ay Wing located there and moved from Switzerland. She performs with a live band but, as a songwriter, her mind is free to wander and project in Berlin. Inspired by the sights and people around her; one wonders whether her music would sound the same if she lived in New York or London. I am not too sure whether Berlin Pop is as popular and different to that in London but I know for a fact there are so many wonderful musicians in the city. More supportive and communal than London, perhaps; it is understandable why Berlin is a go-to dream-spot for musicians. I am not going to move there myself but might go and visit in the next few years. I am attracted to various cities and how the music scene differs depending on where you can go. New York, London and Los Angeles have their own vibe and you get a real sense of what the artists are about. Berlin seems a lot more diverse and challenging than a lot of cities around. Listen to Ay Wing’s E.P., Ice Cream Dream, and you can hear the humour, fun and vibrancy the German capital is associated with. That might sound odd given impressions of Germany – not being that funny and fun – but we would be wrong. It is the colour and artistry of the music that sticks in my mind. Ay Wing is a modern artist who is not concerned with black-and-white and shades of grey. She is a vivacious and captivating soul that mixes the underground clubs and sweaty bars with the vivacious and delightful overground. I feel more people will want to go to Berlin and set up shop there when they hear artists like Ay Wing come through. She has embraced the city and its culture and integrated it into her music.  


If you look at the video of Ice Cream Dream (I suggest you do) you will see toned and good-looking people working out and alluringly looking at the camera. There is a funky and finger-clicking bass that suggests a Disco freakout is about to ensue. I was hooked by the very first notes and invested in the song. Whilst the bass is consistent and has a polished sound; the vocal sounds far-off and has a rather sparse quality. There is a nice clash between the bass working away and the heroine – who seems like she is recording the vocal a little way from the microphone. She talks about fads and how we all do the same thing. Whether we are down the gym or meditating; doing yoga or embarking on some boring and soulless regime. What we are trying to achieve is rather pointless in a way. Maybe one wants to keep the weight off or sculpt their body into a ‘perfect’ shape. Maybe there are chemicals firing in the brain and the release of endorphins. It is amazing why we go through all the trouble of sweating and hurting our bodies to achieve very little. Some of us need to lose weight and genuinely need to be in the gym but most of seem to be chasing some weird ideal. There is that boring and machine-like quality of the gym-goers. Others do less strenuous activities but it is all for the same reason: trying to achieve some form of physical and spiritual wellbeing. How much do we actually accomplish by doing all of this? We get dressed up in ridiculous clothes and are so serious about everything! Rather than walk in the park and have a stroll through the city; why do we insist on being part of the get fit cult?! It seems rather extreme and unnecessary. The video shows a cast of characters who show what I mean. From the muscular gym-goer to the man in shorts doing blanks and pointless exercises.


VIDEO STILLSJean-Christophe Dupasquier

The heroine has seen them all and, in her mind, there is that desire for calories and sweetness. Maybe those who exercise and go to the gym have that need. They want the taste of ice cream but feel they need to deny themselves for no real reason. They feel eating something tasty and naughty might pull the ripcord of their physique. As the song progresses; the commentary of the modern fitness fanatic unravels. She looks at this pursuit and how we all get sucked into the latest fad. Why are we spending so much of our time doing this?! The chorus lays out what we all want: various flavours of ice cream and the chance to not follow the rules. One of the only issues with the song, like a few I have heard, is the way the lyrics sometimes struggle for true clarity. It can be difficult understanding what is being said at times. Maybe that is because of the production – the vocals are a little far-off – or the pronunciation but one has to fill in some blanks themselves. It is not a big concern because there are words and lines that stand out and you can piece the story together yourself. The chorus is the clearest part of the song and delivers the biggest hit. What amazes me about the song, and Ay Wing, is the way funky and fun is mixed with a sense of judgment and seriousness. The song itself is funny and uplifting but the heroine is casting her finger at those go to all this trouble and embark on such strain. There are great wordless vocals and beats that come through; the song gets hotter and fuller when the chorus swings in. The listener is definitely engaged and, in an ironic way, working out to the song. One feels the best way to burn calories and get a blast of fun is to dance to the song – rather than go to the gym and sweat it out with countless others!


VIDEO STILLJean-Christophe Dupasquier

Even the first time you hear Ice Cream Dream, you understand what it is all about and it will make its mark. There is a great 1980s quality to the song. You can imagine it fitting with the best Pop of the day and one gets memories of the decade in Ay Wing’s performance. The heroine talks about demons and shadows on the subway; the way we are inundated with messages and slogans – maybe brainwashed by advertising and what we should look like. That dream of ice cream is always there and that is what we should be doing. Rather than get hung-up on shaping our bodies and driving ourselves into the ground taking a more relaxed approach is much more advisable. The heroine is a powerful voice and it is hard to refute her advice. Lyrics become clearer in the second verse and you can definitely hear a sharpness come in. That taut and sexy bass continues and perfectly fuses with crackling beats and strident vocals. There is so much life and allure coming from Ay Wing’s voice. Even though the performance is not rapturous and ultra-hyped; you get a sense of fun and physicality that gets you off your seat and involved. Ice Cream Dream is a Pop song for the modern age. It is catchy and engaging but never cheap and shallow. You have plenty of lyrical depth and intelligence working throughout; humour and memorable lines – all topped off with a fantastic central performance. Make sure you check the song out and listen to the video that accompanies it. Both show what a creative and ambitious artist Ay Wing is. She keeps getting stronger and better and one suspects, before long, she will be mixing it up with the biggest artists out there.



Things are getting hotter and better for Ay Wing. I have been following her for a while and can see how she has developed. Her E.P. was released in the spring and its title cut is out in the world. The songwriter has been busy promoting and taking her music across Europe. I am not sure whether she is coming to the U.K. to perform soon but it would be great to see her. Ay Wing has been thrilling crowds and is amazing people with her latest track. Ice Cream Dream is an amazing song that has that wonderful video that makes you smile and remains long in the brain. Everything about the songwriter amazes and I know she will go a long way in the industry. I hope there are U.S. opportunities and the Berlin-based songwriter gets the chance to travel far and wide. Maybe there will be more material this year but I feel Ay Wing will want to get her music around Europe and reach new audiences. The talented and extraordinary musician is out there on her own and has very few like-minded peers. It is because of her I have become more involved and invested in Pop. She shows what is capable in the genre and how it is possible to write intelligent and challenging music but throw in plenty of fun and colour. It is the brightness and explosions she brings to music that makes you follow her and want her to succeed. We shall end things here but make sure you get involved with Ice Cream Dream and listen to the whole E.P. The title-track is a stunning work that looks at fitness and our obsession with getting trim but adds plenty of humour in there. We are so serious when it comes to our bodies and the staying fit – something that should be fun and not that intense at all. Artists that can make you laugh and raise smiles are few are far between and, because of that, we need to keep Ay Wing close. The songwriter has come up with a real gem and proved herself to be one of the most original new voices around. As the sun shines and the heat continues to rise; we are all having ice cream dreams. Rather than labour in the gym and tire yourself on a treadmill; spin the latest track from Ay Wing and get fit and smile…


AT the same time.  


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