Willow Smith is about to head out on tour with Jhené Aiko beginning next month, and it always works best to have some new music available when you're in that opening slot. Luckily, Willow will be prepared: She just dropped a new album on Tuesday (October 31) — her 17th birthday — called The 1st.
It opens bracingly with the baroque and lovely "Boy," with Willow narrating her inner feelings about a certain guy in the musical vein of Esperanza Spalding and even Joanna Newsom. By the end of the sparse and pretty record, which spans 34 minutes, Willow's spent time spreading her bellowing voice over delicate acoustic guitars ("Romance"), skittering percussion ("Oh No!!!"), and borderline late-'90s grunge ("Human Leech").
Listen to the full The 1st album above, and hear for yourself — although it should go without saying at this point — just how far Willow has come since "Whip My Hair" when she was just 10 years old.