Willow Smith will release a new album, COPINGMECHANISM, on September 23

Willow Smith
(Image credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Willow Smith has announced COPINGMECHANISM, her followup album to 2021’s Lately I Feel EVERYTHING.

Arriving September 23, the album’s cycle will kick off with a new single dropping later today, titled Hover Like a Goddess.

A new post on Smith’s Instagram feed appears to show her Ernie Ball Music Man St. Vincent signature model – which sports cosmic artwork designed by Covet leader Yvette Young – smashed through a retro TV, strongly suggesting the record will again feature a guitar-driven, pop-punk sound.

Lately I Feel EVERYTHING marked Willow Smith’s creative redirection into the world of guitar music, after previously releasing music with more of a R&B/hip-hop-oriented sound. 

The album features numerous appearances from Travis Barker – because what pop-punk album would be complete without him? – as well as a guest spot by Ayla Tesler-Mabe, who told Guitar World last year that being asked to lay down tracks for Willow Smith was an “honor”.

The pair had previously shared some casual messages on social media, and Tesler-Mabe asked if she was working on any music, “just because I’m a fan of what she does”, she explained.

“She said she had been, which I was excited about. Then she said, ‘By the way, maybe you could lay down a verse and a solo on a track?’ I was like ‘OK!’ – as if I wasn’t already excited enough that she was releasing new music.

“A couple weeks later, she sent the track over and said 'do whatever you want!' To have that trust from someone I respect so much is obviously unbelievable; it was such an honor.”

Willow Smith is not the only mainstream artist who’s helped drive the resurgence of pop-punk in popular culture in recent times. 

Machine Gun Kelly reinvented himself in 2020 with a firmly powerchord-driven outing, Tickets to My Downfall, and released a followup this year titled Mainstream Sellout, and pop superstar Demi Lovato is presently gearing up to release a rock- and punk-inspired album, Holy Fvck

Notably, Lovato has tapped shredder Nita Strauss – who until recently played in Alice Cooper’s live band – to accompany them on their upcoming tour.

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Sam Roche

Sam was Staff Writer at GuitarWorld.com from 2019 to 2023, and also created content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.