Scout LaRue Willis announces her remarkable self-titled debut album today. Imbued with wistful melodies and eloquent, eccentric arrangements, the record is a coming-of-age masterpiece that showcases a young auteur turning her darkest fears into hopeful songs. A skilled songwriter and artist who has collaborated with the likes of Nicolas Jaar, Willis always aspired to a musical career but something held her back. “Somewhere between fear and misperception I had this idea that I shouldn’t and couldn’t pursue music full time,” Willis explains. “Later though, I realized this was just a very clever way to hide from the deep, unconscious fear I had around sharing myself and my art with the world.” It took a few years, but this fear would ultimately be channeled into Willis teaching herself to play guitar in 2016 and write her own music for the first time, and this self-titled album is the first peek into her gorgeous sonic world.
The album’s lead single is the anthemic “Woman At Best,” which receives a stunning visual accompaniment by Lili Peper and Scout LaRue Willis. She previously shared “Love Without Possession” and “Shouldn’t I Be.”
On the lead single, Scout shares “Woman at best is a love letter to Sacred feminine rage. It’s an anthemic celebration of the courage it takes to make the tough decisions in life and love, that while for your highest good, can feel excruciating. It’s about finally stepping away from something both toxic and intoxicating. This song is an ode to feminine creativity, sexuality and freedom, to the idea that I can be all of it without hiding or withholding any piece of myself. I wrote this song with a near prescient clarity, precisely describing the arc of a relationship I wouldn’t enter till months after it was written. It was one of the only songs on the album that Showed me exactly what kind of production it called for. From the very earliest stages Of writing it I heard a choir, I heard a huge string section, this song wanted to be big and proud and unapologetic. It was so incredible to hear it come to life in the studio. Even then it brought me to the edge of my own discomfort and pushed me beyond my perceived limitations.”
Scout LaRue Willis is, ultimately, a record of personal growth. It’s both an ode to the relationships that have helped her grow and to the relationship she has developed with herself. This album is a love letter to not only her triumph, but to her pain as well, to music as a healing force, and it offers her a vantage point to see how far she’s come. “Looking back through the lens of this album and my own personal growth work, I’m in love with every experience that inspired these songs, every moment of challenge, heartbreak and victory, because each of them conspired to get me to this exact moment and I’ve never been more in love with myself and my life than I am right now. I feel like I am singing these songs to the girl I was—that young, thrashed, courageous version of myself who just kept making art no matter what. I feel so grateful to finally be at this point, ready to send these stories out into the world to have a life of their own.”
Photo Courtesy: Tyler Shields