Ears Wide Open: Willow Avalon

Willow Avalon (Photo by Dean Bradshaw)

Willow Avalon is the nom de tune of Willow Martin, a singer-songwriter who grew up in rural Georgia near Athens, has lived in L.A. the past five years or so and, during the pandemic, 1) extricated herself from a record-label deal and, 2) took in a possum. Wait, you say, a possum? Yes, it’s true: She adopted a baby possum and named him Bowie, and that’s the two of them on a billboard in Silver Lake promoting her debut single.

The song, “Drivin,” was released on Friday, her 23rd birthday. It’s a song with a restless spirit and an enchanting Lana Del Rey-meets-Fleetwood Mac vibe, and it’s the first single from an album that Avalon has in the works. In fact, that album was made with writers/producers/engineers Dean Reid and Kieron Menzies, who have been Del Rey collaborators, at Rick Nowels’ studio in Santa Monica, where Del Rey has recorded.

Avalon says she wrote the song when she was 16; hence, the record-label interest. Here, the daughter of acclaimed singer-songwriter Jim White brings it to life, singing and playing keys, with Stella Mogzawa (Warpaint) on drums, Chase Meier (Goldensuns) on bass and Andrew Wessen (Grouplove) on guitar. It’s driving and daydreaming and the moments the two melt into one.

||| Stream: “Drivin”