Premiere: Empathy & Understanding in Ainsley Farrell’s Stunning Return, “The Way Back”

Ainsley Farrell © Ian Farrell
Ainsley Farrell © Ian Farrell
Tender and driving, loving and emotionally charged, Ainsley Farrell’s “The Way Back” is an intimate outpouring of empathy and support for all who need it.
for fans of Angie McMahon, Holly Humberstone, Gordi
Stream: “The Way Back” – Ainsley Farrell




This song is for anyone having trouble seeing the light in all the darkness.

How many of us turn to music when the world is getting us down? Whether they’re anthems or ballads or anything in-between, songs have that uncanny ability to pick us up when we need it, especially when we can’t do it ourselves and we need that helping hand. Music has long been a source of support and connectivity, which is what makes Ainsley Farrell’s latest single all the more special: Tender and driving, heartfelt and emotionally charged, “The Way Back” is an intimate outpouring of empathy and love for all who need it.

The Way Back - Ainsley Farrell
The Way Back – Ainsley Farrell
Do you know the way back to your hands
Pick it up and start again
Till you know
Do you know the way back to your feet
Never felt this heavy
Move ‘em slowly
Feel it ease

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “The Way Back,” Ainsley Farrell’s first song in four years and the lead single off her forthcoming sophomore album (details TBA). A Sydney-based singer/songwriter originally from the United States, Farrell debuted nearly seven years ago with a beautifully sweet and stirring indie folk sound.

She returned just a few years later with refreshing vigor: 2017’s debut EP Dark Hours radiates charming, charismatic indie rock a la Angie McMahon and Middle Kids, with a focus on both the tension and release of Farrell’s lyrics, as well as her and her band’s instrumental work.

Ainsley Farrell © Satya Sullivan
Ainsley Farrell © Satya Sullivan

Fast-forwarding to 2022, the verve and tempered drive of “The Way Back” sees Farrell more cool, confident, and self-assured than ever before. She pours herself into the song’s message of empathy and understanding, with a steady beat and rhythmic vocal pattern creating a kind of mantra-like solace that leaps off the page/earbuds and easily finds its way into listeners’ hearts.

Do you know that I will hold you in the light,” Farrell repeats in the chorus. Though she’s far away from us, she nevertheless offers to share the weight and bear our burden until we’re ready to carry on.

“I wrote this song when my best friend was going through one of the hardest times of her life, and I couldn’t be there for her physically,” Farrell tells Atwood Magazine. “I was really worried about her mental state and felt a bit useless communicating from a different country. She was experiencing this immense pain, and I just wanted to be able to sit with her and hold her. This song is metaphorically holding her in the light, holding some of that pain for her, until she’s ready to put one foot in front of the other and realize it’s worth sticking it out in this world. This song is for anyone having trouble seeing the light in all the darkness.”

Do you know the way back to your head
It’s ok to just pretend
Till you know
Do you know the way back to your heart
Never felt this far
Please don’t find a way out…
Please don’t find a way out…

“My band and I recorded the album on the central coast of NSW, Australia,” she continues. “Tim Harvey drove up from Melbourne to engineer and help produce. It was a dream team. We recorded twelve songs in two weeks. My brain was fried by the end, and as Tim drove off this huge storm set in. It felt like this massive release of all these songs, experiences and emotions from the past four years. Then I was just in this big empty house by myself. It felt very symbolic and beautiful.”

Ainsley Farrell © Satya Sullivan
Ainsley Farrell © Satya Sullivan

Together, “The Way Back” and its music video are sanctuary: A welcome shelter from the storm. Whatever weather we’re enduring, Farrell urges us to press onward. Life is too precious to give it up: Whatever we need to do – even if that means taking a step back from everything and everyone, switching courses in our jobs, our homes, etc. – life is worth the effort. We only get one chance here, and sometimes a little help from a loved one (or a stranger) is just what we need to get by in a critical moment of doubt and despair.

“The Way Back” is hope manifest in song; it’s an anthem of staying power and perseverance, of hardship and friendship, of overcoming obstacles and getting by with a little help from our friends. Ainsley Farrell couldn’t have chosen a better or brighter message to return with after these past four years; her music is its own inspired spark of life, and the perfect opener to an exciting new chapter in the artist’s career.

Stream “The Way Back” exclusively on Atwood Magazine, and stay tuned for more coming soon from Ainsley Farrell!

Do you know that I will hold you in the light x2
Do you know that I will hold you in the light x2
Till you know

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:: stream/purchase “The Way Back” here ::
Stream: “The Way Back” – Ainsley Farrell



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The Way Back - Ainsley Farrell

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📸 © Ian Farrell

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