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New Artist of the Week: Ava Earl

By Amanda Wicks

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Alaska-born singer/songwriter Ava Earl just graduated from high school but she's already preparing to release her fourth album. That's right, fourth. Roses is out July 23.

It's a mystery where she found the time to write such a substantial amount of music, in between running track and studying. Oh, and opening for folk-pop singer/songwriter Maggie Rogers.

But Earl found her voice when she began playing guitar. Rather than repeat what others have done by releasing covers, she found that she preferred shaping her own stories. “I’m addicted to writing songs" she said in a press release. "I don’t think I could stop if I wanted to”.

She crafts quietly resonant Americana tracks that eke out space for her delicate voice and guitar playing.

Earl is premiering her new music video 'Springtime' exclusively with Holler. Watch below. In it, she walks and skates around the Alaskan wilderness, singing about the powerful rebirth that happens during the spring months.

"The idea for the music video was to show both the super happy, sunny parts that I look forward to in the spring and also the kind of haunting feeling that you get in the song", Earl said. "So we filmed at two different locations: one by a lake with lots of people and festivities where I'm skating around and having fun, and the second on the mudflats, where the skates become a burden I have to carry, and the mood is a bit more gloomy and desolate. I love the way it turned out"!

The artist will soon trade her hometown for the campus at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Illinois, where she'll be running track on a scholarship and studying STEM.

If college might distract her from music, think again. Earl is planning on recording a fifth album before the fall semester. She spoke with Holler about heading off to college, what kind of music influenced her growing up and her dream collaboration. Hint: It's a big one.

Where are you from and has that influenced the type of artist you are?
I was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised in Girdwood. Nature is definitely an inspiration to me, and I feel very connected to my state.

I think the biggest way that it has influenced my art is through the music community. Since I was a young singer/songwriter I've had nothing but support from Anchorage and Girdwood residents, and it is clear to me that music and nature bring all of us together.

Speaking of influences, what were you listening to growing up?
Growing up, my parents played a wide range of music. Some highlights are: Ben Folds Five, Fiona Apple, Ingrid Michaelson, The Grateful Dead and the like.

Did you ever want to do something other than music?
Being a full-time professional musician is my dream, but I also find joy in other endeavors. I plan to study in STEM at Northwestern, where I'll be a freshman in the fall. I'm currently leaning towards genetics.

Are you more creative when you’re happy or when you’re sad?
To be honest, I'm not sure I can say either. Inspiration hits me at seemingly random times - I can be happy, sad, stressed, etc. The only consistency is the feeling that I must create! I have yet to find the words to accurately describe what this feels like, but it is a specific sort of restlessness.

What drives you the most?
I am someone who is driven almost completely by my feelings. This can be a hindrance, but as far as songwriting goes, I'd say it works out pretty well!

In general, which comes first for you, the title or the song?
Definitely the song. I'm not sure I've ever written a song for which I've thought of the title first.

Who would be your dream collaboration?
I'm a big dreamer. I have to say Taylor Swift! She is obviously fantastic and I love her lyricism.

What’s next?
Next year I will be attending Northwestern University as a student athlete! I will be back in Alaska and in the "Lower 48" (as we call it) in the summer. I also expect to be recording another album in the coming months.