Uncomfortable Truths // 4.10.2020
We each have unique fibers that weave, twist and turn to make up the person we are. Some, like privilege, are pieces we’re born with. Others can be a little ragged, a little worn, a little less than what we expected they’d be -- the parts of our brains and bodies that require a little extra care. Singer-songwriter Ali Holder is facing these pieces of her own story head-on throughout Uncomfortable Truths.
“I have a lot of uncomfortable truths that feel very heavy,” Ali says of the album. “I often asked myself, what’s the point of this in my life? The way I have chosen to move through them is to share with others. My hope is that in sharing all of the uncomfortable things that make up my story, people will be able to relate and feel less alone in their own.”
Throughout the 12-song collection, Ali discusses mental illness, chronic pain, healthy boundaries, relationship challenges and more. Intertwined is a theme of privilege, discussing physical and mental violence, poverty, and women’s rights. Many songs are from Ali’s perspective and confessional in nature, seeking to convey an ultimately positive outlook on surroundings, while still acknowledging difficult circumstances.
Uncomfortable Truths will be released April 10th, 2020.
Although Holder was raised on outlaw country in Wichita Falls, Texas, she is influenced by a broad swathe of styles including country, jazz, blues, folk and indie. “I use slashes a lot,” Holder notes. “Folk/country/blues/Americana/jazz. I don’t think I have to be any one thing.” She began writing, singing and playing guitar in junior high, and fell in love with songwriters early on- “Janis Joplin and the women of Lilith Fair had a big impact on me growing up”.
Over time, Holder discovered Texas songwriters such as Susan Gibson and Walt Wilkins, along with Wilco, Lucinda Williams, Ryan Adams and Tom Waits. In college, she absorbed Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Jenny Lewis and Neko Case. After completing her undergraduate degree in art education at the University of Texas at Arlington, Holder relocated to Austin in search of a larger audience. Once settled, Holder fronted two bands: the folk-leaning Ali Holder & the Broken Hearted, and R&B band Ali Holder & the Raindoggs.
In recent times, Holder has expanded her musical palate to include artists such as Brandi Carlile, Susan Tedeschi, Possessed by Paul James and Lera Lynn. These influences can occasionally be heard in the songs, but it’s her own sound — a sure voice that leans toward alto but effortlessly reaches far higher, coupled with well-targeted musical sensibilities and intelligent lyrics — that draws the listener in.
Whether her inspirations come from haunting historic sites, communing with cattle or reading Stephen King, Ali Holder clearly has creative blood coursing through her veins. Let her spill some into your ears.