Alana Wilkinson Truly is ‘Good For You’
Alana Wilkinson Truly is Good For You
Taped to the front of a non-descript Fitzroy apartment building is a small handwritten sign, reading:
Entrance through the rear
Follow The Sunflowers
You’d be forgiven for humming ‘Follow the Yellow Brick Road’ to yourself, following hand painted sunflowers around the corner and down the back of the building; Wilkinson has set her signature tone on the evening before even entering the venue. Like any good treasure hunt, the final destination is worth the mystery. Humble Something – the gallery space cross Air BnB – for the evening has been transformed into a cosy, glowing lounge-room, complete with bohemian rugs, artfully strung low hanging lights, and behind the stage, an archway by Blooming Heck adorned with Australian flora. It’s the launch of Alana’s third single, ‘Good For You,’ and by the end of the night, the room will be filled well beyond sold out, with the audience sitting on cushions and singing along.
Following the breathtaking vocals of opening act Skye, and the heartfelt lyricism of Meiwa, Alana Wilkinson takes the stage, barefoot, and with her trademark sunflowers woven around the mic stand. Through a combination of honest (sometimes painfully so) anecdotes, powerful vocals, and poignant, witty lyricism, Wilkinson delivers what may be her best performance to date.
With the same personable and enigmatic energy that last September made the Corner Hotel feel like a lounge-room concert, Alana somehow makes the homemade lounge-room of Humble Something feel like a concert hall, while sacrificing none of the personal connection that makes her performances so enthralling. With surprise performances from Angus Robb, Feelds, Merpire, Paige Black, Al Parkinson and more, Alana completely blurs the line between herself and her audience, which seems to be exactly the way she likes it.
The set list is a delicate balance of honesty, story-telling, and hard life lessons learned – paired with comedy, wit, and just plain having a boogie. Somehow delivering the same depth in her performance of Sesame Street’s ‘I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon,’ as in her debut single ‘Partner in Crime,’ depicting the loss of a childhood friend; Wilkinson has performance down to a fine art, and has the room wrapped around her little finger from the first word. Old favourites such as ‘Show You Mine’ and ‘The Polar Bear Song’ are played, along with new material such as ‘Voco Vacay’ (a song born of a little free time and a friend’s vocoder), and of course the main event, ‘Good For You.’
One of Alana’s best artistic qualities is the breadth of her work. Not many artists could smoothly pull off the transition from a heart wrenching song like ‘Partner in Crime’ to one about having a sex dream about your best friend, but somehow, she does. Her newest single, and the focus of the evening, exemplifies this beautifully. Sidestepping the singer-songwriter pit of releasing a slew of breakup songs, all three of Wilkinson’s singles display different sides of her. ‘Good For You’ tells the story of falling for someone you might be good for, but who is not good for you. A combination of straight shooting honesty and visual lyricism, it may be her best single yet.
Well I guess I let everyone down, down, down
When I became a noise in the background
Of your video games.
You won’t change.
With hints of a 2020 album release in the works, this year has started strong for Alana Wilkinson, and while she continues to be surprised that she gets to play music as a full time job, after a performance like that – she’s probably the only one.