"Ardipithecus Ramidus is the scientific name of the first hominid bones found on earth. I wanted to name my musical compilation after it because, while I was making these songs I was in such a transitional state," the singer told THE FADER via email. "Digging deep in the soil of my heart and finding bits and pieces of my ancient self that tell stories, which end up being the lyrics to the songs."
"Ardipithecus is my first album in my entire career and it makes me feel so blessed to be able to share my evolution with the LightEaters as I continue excavating my inner worlds…," she continued.
Willow took to social media to share the official album cover, which features a very Avatar-like version of the teen in art form.
"I can't express how relieved I am to finally give my LightEaters my most recent inner excavation," she wrote. "This is just the beginning … #msftsrepmusic."
The album is tribal and trippy, a complete transformation from the spunky, sassy vibe we got from her 2010 hit, "Whip My Hair." With songs like "Natives of the Windy Forest," "dRuGz" and "Star," Ardipithecus is wonderfully weird in all the right ways.
"I'm just a girl walking through the woods, but I'm mighty," Willow sings in "dRuGz."
Stream the full album below.
The majority of the album was written by Willow herself -- she is impressively credited as the sole songwriter on 14 of the 15 tracks, and sole producer on 10 of them -- with help from her brother, Trey aka AcE, and friend, JABS, who frequently makes appearances on Willow's SoundCloud page.
Prior to the release, Willow dropped some subtle hints that something was coming on Dec. 11 on her Instagram.
"<Dec.11th>," she wrote, accompanied by a pic of her sitting cross-legged in the woods.
The caption on a close-up of one of her eyes read, "<TOMORROW>"
Back in October, Willow's brother, Jaden, told GQ magazine that the two close siblings share similar points of views. According to Jaden, they refer to themselves as "scientists" and even have a "mystery school."