What is happening with the world? I’m feeling older as the guitar heroes are getting younger! There seems to be a change in the air. Back in my day, the guitar legends were all men seemingly (but we remember Suzi Quatro), Brian May, Ace Frehley, Jimmy Page, BB King, Jimi Hendrix, George Harrison…on and on we go. But just recently, a change is afoot.
Only last month we were reviewing the new single by “Arielle” who plays this amazing Brian May custom guitar. Then in my Dropbox arrived a request to listen to “Like a Girl” and “Embers” by California based Ava (links to download are included here). These releases follow her debut EP “A.V.A.” (2021) and the follow-up “Charm School Dropout” (2022). Ava writes her own music and co-writes her lyrics, so she is a singer-songwriter in the vein of the artists we cover here. She also performs all guitar and vocals. The singles were produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered by Jacob Light at Modern Tone Studios in Lafayette, CA. Jacob Light plays bass guitar, and Gideon Berger (Useless ID, War Bison, Kill The Drive) is on drums. Her website covers it in more detail.
To the songs:
“Embers” presents what I would call some passionate guitar, it has this “big sound,” and bluntly, this is arena music from a 13 year old. Yes, you read that correctly, she is 13 years old. I held that back as it blew me away! Frankly, she is a bloody good guitarist, and the song is mature, well written, and expertly delivered. “Being down but not out” is how Ava describes this one, and we have all been there. “Never defeated” is the motto here!
“Like a Girl” has Ava sing “Never Second Guess Me,” and we have this throbbing guitar riff with a sound that is musically tight and compelling. It is a fresh sound in rock and brings Joan Jett to mind.
In her press release for this one, Ava says she is releasing these songs together because they represent the sometimes wild swings of emotion many people experience on any given day. Sort of the yin-yang of the average human navigating through daily life.
What more can I say! I actually wrote an email to Mark (on the team here) and said how happy I was that he asked me to do this one. I’m so thrilled to be introduced to this artist and am in awe of how proficient she is already. The sound is solid, commercial rock that should get plenty of play on rock radio.
By Lorraine Foley
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