Ava Earl is Too Much
The phrase, “Ava, you are a lot,” has been a familiar refrain in the life of Alaska singer-songwriter Ava Earl. Uttered with loving amusement by her parents, mild frustration by more than one teacher, and joyful admiration by a few key mentors, this notion of “being a lot” is at the heart of her latest studio album, fittingly titled, Too Much.
Earl is currently a junior at Northwestern University, located just outside of Chicago, where she’s channeling her near boundless energy into a packed schedule of academics, athletics, and of course, music. Her studies include political science, critical theory, and creative writing. Before and after class, she’s also racking up some serious mileage as a member of the school’s NCAA Division-I cross country running and track teams. Somewhere in there, she also writes music.
How does she make it all work? “Really, I think this is just the way I’m wired,” she says. “I’ve been balancing school, running, and music since I was about ten. The stakes are obviously higher now—and I definitely get stressed at times, but running and music have always been my two biggest loves, so taking both of these things to a higher level makes me incredibly happy.”
Last fall, Earl was one of seven Northwestern runners who helped the team qualify for the cross-country national meet. It was the first time the team made it to nationals in 20 years. That’s the kind of success Earl hopes to mirror with Too Much. “I honestly do see a lot of similarities in this trajectory,” she explains. “We made it to nationals because we put in the work, we had the support of our coaches, families, and friends, and we believed in our potential. I feel that exact way about my music right now.”
Having opened for the likes of Maggie Rogers while still in high school and releasing four albums by the time she was 18, Earl has already solidified herself in the Americana scene as an emerging artist. She made a big step up in 2021 with her album The Roses, produced by GRAMMY-nominated JT Nero. Well received by Americana UK, Holler, and American Songwriter, several songs were featured on Spotify editorial playlists, with “Mountain Song” amassing more than 100,000 streams.
Too Much continues on this path. Produced by JUNO-winner Zachariah Hickman and recorded at Great North Sound Society in Maine, the album champions a new sound––one that breaks away from previous recordings while staying close to Earl’s unique writing style. Rooted in lyrical rock, there are tracks that evoke the pop sounds of Olivia Rodrigo, Taylor Swift, and Gracie Abrams, while others hint at Americana artists Phoebe Bridgers, Elliott Smith, and Laura Marling. Thematically, the album takes us through Earl’s journey of early adulthood, including the concept of being “too much.”
“Women are often told or made to feel like we are too much,” Earl says. “We are too much for our surroundings, too much for our peers, too much for our own good. We are supposed to wait our turn, couch our ideas in questions, and just be small. That’s never worked out for me. From a young age, I have been labeled ‘too much’ and I know from experience, I couldn’t be less if I tried. This album works through those feelings of being too much—both for others and sometimes for myself.”
The title track, “Too Much,” tackles this duality head-on. Written in the aftermath of COVID shutdowns and her experience of sudden and permanent single-sided deafness, the deceivingly upbeat tune confronts her hearing loss anxieties, which are purely internal, as well as her romantic insecurities, which are far more external.
In “Ears Bleed” the concept of “too much” turns wholly inward. “After going deaf in my right ear, I was left with emotions that took months to unravel, sort, and explain. Six months in, I thought I had come to a semblance of peace when this song tumbled out of me, surprising me with a pain that was still so palpable,” she says.
Songs about being too much for others tend to have more bite. That’s certainly the case with “Better Than,” and “The Things You Said,” where Earl works through old feelings of being too eager and too earnest, labels that she says used to make her feel embarrassed, but today she wears with pride.
“I am too much, and I don’t think that will change,” she states. “But I do hope that this album can show other women and girls like me that being too much is actually a wonderful thing.”
Press from too much
August 2023: SONG PREMIERE: Ava Earl Offers Unique Pop & Folk Twist On Expansive “Too Much”
Global Pop Magazine
August 2023: AVA EARL: un viaje de introspección y auto reconciliación con “Ears Bleed”
Caesar Live N Loud
August 2023: Ava Earl Shares New Single ‘Ears Bleed’
August 2023: Ava Earl enchante avec son single émouvant ‘Ears Bleed’ qui raconte son parcours face à la surdité
August 2023: CQ CORRAL: AVA EARL – “EARS BLEED”
August 2023: Ava Earl – Ears Bleed
August 2023: Descubrimientos Semanales: Alternative Indie, Pop, Soul Y Más.
The Honey Pop
August 2023: 3 Early 2000s Characters Who Would Love 'Ears Bleed' by Ava Earl
August 2023: Ava Earl – “Ears Bleed” (Song Premiere)
Music For The Misfits
July 2023: July Roundup
July 2023: Artists You Should Know: Ava Earl Struggles To Not Be “Jealous of Her” On New Single
July 2023: Ava Earl – “Jealous of Her”
Visual Atelier 8
July 2023: Ava Earl – Jealous of Her
July 2023: Ava Earl: ‘Jealous of Her’
She Makes Music
July 2023: Ava Earl releases new single ‘Jealous Of Her’
July 2023: Jealous of Her – “Ciumes Dela!! Conheca o Novo Hit de Ava Earl
July 2023: Ava Earl - “Jealous of Her”
April 2023: From the trail to the stage, Ava Earl is in perpetual motion
The Daily Northwestern
January 2023: A conversation with Ava Earl, Northwestern singer-songwriter and romantic
press from the roses
North by Northwestern
June 2022: Ava Earl: The New Sound of Music
The Daily Northwestern
May 2022: Singer-songwriter Ava Earl learns to smell the roses with her latest album
August 2021: Album Review: Ava Earl "The Roses"
WUSB 90.1 FM, Stony Brook NY
December 2021: DJ and Editor Album Picks for 2021
July 2021: Staff Picks Album Review: Ava Earl - The Roses
Anchorage Daily News
July 2021: Six female artists from Alaska to add to your summer playlist
The Bluegrass Situation
July 2021: LISTEN: AVA EARL, “NEW LIGHT”
July 2021: New Artist of the Week: Ava Earl
July 2021: Daily Discovery: Ava Earl Sets Patriarchy On Fire With “Chaos”
July 2021: Ava Earl: A Story of Americana
Underground Music Collective
July 2021: Premiere: Ava Earl releases Title Track from "The Roses"
Amplify Music Magazine
June 2021: PREMIERE // AVA EARL’s single/music video for ‘Mountain Song’
Red Line Roots
May 2021: Singled Out: Ava Earl "Springtime"
Underground Music Collective
May 2021: Premiere: Ava Earl Enchants us with 'Cimorene'
Guitar Girl Magazine
April 2021: Young Singer-songwriter from Alaska, Ava Earl, On Her New Single “Forever Girl”
April 2021: Ava Earl Isn’t Your ‘Forever Girl’ in New Song [Exclusive Premiere]
Anchorage Daily News
May 2020: AK Quarantunes: Ava Earl performs 'All the Promises'
radio and podcasts
Live at EXT | WEXT Radio
June 2022: Ava Earl is Running for the Roses
Sound Source Podcast (The Daily Northwestern)
May 2022: Deep Dive: Ava Earl
Songsurfing Podcast (Chicago)
October 2021: Episode 24: music by Theory of Why, Sugar House, Ava Earl, Sick Day, Salvatge Cor, and BEAU SEJØUR
Country Pocket WUSB
August 2021: Ava Earl "The Roses Interview"
Alaska Teen Media Institute (Anchorage)
July 2021: Zoom Room: Episode 20 - Singer/Songwriter Ava Earl