FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

Ali Holder Faces ‘Uncomfortable Truths’ Head-On 

Singer-songwriter’s new album set for release on April 10 

NEW YORK -- Feb. 19, 2020 -- We each have unique fibers that weave, twist and turn to make up the person we are. Some 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, set for release on April 10. Atwood Magazine premiered the first single, “Bruja,” which utilizes La Loba, a Pueblo myth, to resurrect women who died at the hands of the Mexican cartel. The outlet notes the song is "a dazzling show of force" as "Holder’s impassioned singing speaks for those who lost their lives, who may no longer use their own voices to fight an ongoing, terrible, and largely unseen battle of gender, power, and place in society." 

“I saw an art installation once where 300 plaster casted hearts were hanging from the ceiling. It was to represent 300 women who had gone missing via the Mexican cartels,” she told the outlet. “I love the idea of women being born upon the bones of the women who came before them. I had [La Loba] raise the bones of the 300 dead women to march as an army on the men who took their lives. I don't think women are allowed to get angry or seek revenge without being seen as crazy, emotional, or weak. I think we need to change that. We need to accept our anger so we can work through it and heal. So we can rise up and keep fighting for our rights that are being taken away from us.” 

Throughout the 12-song collection, Holder discusses mental illness, chronic pain, healthy boundaries and relationship challenges. Intertwined is a theme of privilege, discussing physical and mental violence, poverty, and women’s rights. Many songs are from a confessional perspective, seeking to convey an ultimately positive outlook on surroundings, while still acknowledging difficult circumstances. 

Four complementary vignettes scattered throughout the album, each titled a version of “Speak,” examine privilege. With a run-time between two and three minutes, they discuss ways to speak for those who are voiceless. The first vignette discusses violence. It’s about how, with or without privilege, be it via race, socioeconomic background, or access to mental health care, the lens for the world changes. The second tackles economic security — the ability to have a safety net if needed. The third veers into mental and physical health, and how it can affect every fiber of a relationship. The fourth and final piece is about the importance of boundaries, or rather the dissolution of the self-created ones that women use time and time again in a man’s world. 

Relationships and the challenges that come with them are the focus of several tracks; “California,” a mid-tempo track replete with an atmospheric percussion and Holder’s arresting alto on full display, parallels the vast landscape with ups and downs, hot and cold of a romantic relationship. “Take Me As I Am,” about marriage, examines therapy as a beneficial tool for accepting someone as they are. “Bad Wife” ponders identity within a partnership. “Nova” uses space metaphors in terms of marriage; finding ways to cut through the darkness. 

“Lightning Rods” ponders the idea of creativity as inherent electricity we each have. “Reborn” discusses chronic pain and perspective. "Singing Over Bones" also takes on the voice of La Loba, the Pueblo myth used in "Bruja," who is known for collecting the bones of those in danger of being lost to the world. 

“You can choose to focus on the negative or the positive," Holder says. "I am making a choice for the positive. All this in hopes that someone else can hear it and feel less alone about their own pain.” 

Uncomfortable Truths Track Listing: 

1. Take Me As I Am 

2. Bad Wife 

3. Speak One 

4. Bruja 

5. California 

6. Speak Two 

7. Lightning Rods 

8. Nova 

9. Speak Three 

10. Reborn 

11. Speak Four 

12. Singing Over Bones 

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More about Ali Holder: 

WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | TWITTER 

For a review copy or more information: 

sarahjfrost@gmail.com | 817-559-9499

PREMIER: ALI HOLDER RELEASES LATEST SINGLE, "REBORN"

Today, singer-songwriter Ali Holder premiered her latest single, “Reborn” on American Songwriter. The song comes ahead of her third album, Uncomfortable Truths, set for release on April 10. “Reborn” discusses chronic pain from a thoughtful perspective. Having suffered migraines for twenty years and vulvodynia for eight, Holder lays stigma aside with her latest track. 

“I knew I wanted to write about chronic pain, I just wasn’t sure how to make it clever,” Holder explained, “so, I figured I would lay it out word for word instead. At a certain point, you start to lose hope that your life will ever change; you become used to living a smaller version of your life. Just like having control over the way I thought, I had control over this song. I wanted to give myself a rebirth. I wanted everyone else living with chronic pain to know what you can be reborn, even if just in spirit.” 

“Reborn” is the third single off of her upcoming album. Influenced by personal struggles, the twelve-song collection explores mental illness, chronic pain, healthy boundaries, and relationship challenges. Intertwined is a theme of privilege, discussing physical and psychological violence, poverty, and women’s rights. As the title suggests, Holder set out to bury the idea that pain is not to be shared. 

This single comes on the heels of “Bad Wife,” released just a few weeks after the first, “Bruja.” “Bad Wife” challenges marriage difficulties as a taboo topic. Hodler married her husband after only six months together; a visa expiration led the two to take a chance on love. The reality of the affiliated life adjustments diminished some of the anticipated romance. Her lyrics tell the lesser shared, but widely experienced story of newlywed life. 

“I wanted to convey that marriage can be very tough and that it’s okay to talk about it,” explained Holder. “I don’t know why we don’t talk about these things. There is no shame in struggling. We are so much better off to share our struggles with others, so they know they’re not alone, so we know we’re not alone.” 

“Bruja” takes on the voice of La Loba. La Loba, or, “The Wolf Lady”, is a Pueblo mythology character who is known for collecting bones, as well as her ability to resurrect the wild spirit of life from the underworld. Her initial interest developed from her time spent in West Texas, where she learned about this blended heritage. 

“I saw an art installation where plaster cast hearts were hanging from the ceiling to represent women who had gone missing via the Mexican Cartel. I always wanted to avenge them, so I had La Loba raise the bones of the 300 dead women to march as an army on the men who destroyed them.” 

Like much of the album, “Reborn” reveals raw footage of real life. Holder manages to somehow wrap up the sometimes painful narratives with a positive bow. Not always neatly wrapped, but the message of a change of mindset prevails. 

“You can choose to focus on the negative or the positive,” Holder says. “I am making a choice for the positive. All this in hopes that someone else can hear it and feel less alone about their own pain.” 

Listen to Ali Holder’s latest single “Reborn” below. Look out for the release of her third studio album, Uncomfortable Truths, on April 10th.

https://americansongwriter.com/ali-holder-premieres-latest-single-reborn/

PREMIER: ALI HOLDER GETS HONEST ABOUT MARRIAGE IN "BAD WIFE"

 Austin-based folk singer-songwriter Ali Holder has never been one to shy away from taboo topics, but they take front and center in her third full-length album, Uncomfortable Truths. The first single off the album, “Bruja,” adapts the Pueblo myth of La Loba (the Wolf Woman) to create her own story of avenging the women murdered by the Mexican Cartel. 

The second, “Bad Wife,” describes feelings of inadequacy as a spouse: “I’m just a bad wife / always causing a fight / I’m just a bad wife / I don’t sleep well at night / I’ve never been tidy, never been clean / I can’t manage to wash the dishes or do the laundry.” Singer-songwriter Grant Peeples covered it for his album, Bad Wife, a collection of covers of songs by female artists. 

After the Uncomfortable Truths release on April 10, Holder plans to go on tour and spend some time as artist-in-residence at the Roots HQ in Fayetteville, AR. We talked to her about the inspiration behind her new single and album. 

AF: Tell me about what inspired “Bad Wife” and what message you’re conveying with the song. 

AH: My husband and I married after six months of knowing each other. His visa was up, and we were faced with having to get married or break up, essentially. So, we decided to take a risk for love. As much as we were in love, we were still practically strangers. It was a very intense shift for me to go from a single person to a married person. I felt like I had lost my identity. Your thoughts, actions, motivations, everything changes. 

I believe our best partners bring things out in us that allow us to heal. There were a lot of growing pains and healing going on during that time. I wanted to convey that marriage can be very tough and that it’s okay to talk about it. I don’t know why we don’t talk about these things. There is no shame in struggling. We are so much better off to share our struggles with others so they know they’re not alone, so we know we’re not alone. 

AF: What was it like for Grant Peeples to cover it? What additional meaning do you think it gave the song to have a male artist cover it? 

AH: Grant is a friend and such a good feminist. It made me really happy to hear he was going to cover it. I think perhaps when a man hears that song coming from another man, they are less threatened by it. It’s less about them being attacked or feeling guilty and more about the storytelling. Grant is a particular male artist. I am not sure many men could have pulled it off. Having such a feminist man sing it feels like a flag being raised for all women saying, “I understand you, I am rooting for you.” 

AF: What other topics are addressed on the album? 

AH: This album explores all of my uncomfortable truths: chronic pain, mental illness, privilege. It also explores my uncomfortable truths and others’ on a larger scale, like sexual assault, not apologizing for being who we are, revenge… all the things we as women are not supposed to feel or talk about. 

AF: Why did you decide to bring the myth of La Loba into the album? What does this character mean to you? 

AH: I was reading Women Who Run with the Wolves, which is where I first learned of La Loba. I love that she was half-wolf (wild) and half-human. I loved that she created new wolf women from the bones of the women that came before them. That wildness in us is something we are so lucky to have, no matter what we’ve been told. She allowed me to forgive myself, accept myself, love myself for exactly who I was. She allowed me to cherish the wild in myself and the wild in other women. She taught me how powerful that can become when you surround yourself with and celebrate other wild women. 

AF: “Bruja” calls attention to women who died at the hands of the Mexican cartel. How did this topic become of interest to you? 

AH: I lived out in West Texas for a time. I saw an art installation that had 300 plaster cast hearts to represent 300 women who had gone missing via the cartel. That always stuck with me, haunted me. I go out to that same area once a year to write, and I finally found the revenge I was seeking for them through the La Loba character. 

AF: Who were your biggest influences on this album? 

AH: Honestly, my own struggles. At one point, I just became overwhelmed. Writing and singing about them became my catharsis. Music was getting to feel icky for me. Always promoting myself, always asking for money… I knew that I needed it to change somehow. I am about to quote Oprah — don’t judge me! — but I heard her say, “You know you’re on your path when it involves helping others.” That’s when the lightbulb went off and I thought, “What do I have to offer?” The answer was my own pain and struggles. I’m offering it up in hopes that others feel less isolated in their own pain and struggles. 

Uncomfortable Truths is out April 10. Follow Ali Holder on Facebook for ongoing updates.

https://www.audiofemme.com/premiere-ali-holder-bad-wife/

PREMIER: ALI HOLDER’S ASSERTIVE “BRUJA” REDEFINES WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WITCHY WOMAN

Texas’ Ali Holder emerges as an outspoken women’s rights advocate and a stunning singer/songwriter in her spellbinding song “Bruja,” adapting a Pueblo myth through wondrous lyricism and vivid imagery.

"I don’t think women are allowed to get angry or seek revenge without being seen as crazy, emotional, or weak. I think we need to change that. We need to accept our anger so we can work through it and heal." 

Her latest set of songs may be based around a myth, but there’s absolutely no faking Ali Holder’s emotion, her passion, or her immeasurable energy. The Texan artist emerges as an outspoken women’s rights advocate and a stunning singer/songwriter in her spellbinding new single “Bruja,” adapting a Pueblo myth through wondrous lyricism and vivid imagery while speaking out for women who died at the hands of the Mexican cartel.

The mountains of Mexico 
Stand just a stone’s throw away from here 
Looking down this canyon 
I can hear the Rio Grande and the Whipporwills 
The hearts of 300 women 
Cast in plaster names written below 
Still among the missing 
Families forever living with ghosts 

Call out, I call out 
To raise the bones from the earth

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering “Bruja,” the evocative lead single off Ali Holder’s forthcoming album Uncomfortable Truths (out 2020). Born on Texas’ outlaw country and now based in Austin, Ali Holder’s decade-spanning career has seen her emerge as a prominent local artist with a flare for rejecting rules and bending definitions. A self-proclaimed fan of slashes, Holder describes herself as “folk/country/blues/Americana/jazz” and then some – “I don’t think I have to be any one thing,” she shares in her latest artist biography.

Not only is Holder’s latest music her most distinctive and unique, but it’s also her most meaningful project to date. Following 2017’s Huntress Moon, Uncomfortable Truths is described as being “about the parts of lives and bodies that can be a little ragged, a little worn, a little less than what they were expected to be,” per the artist. “The album spans topics including chronic pain, poverty, privilege and women’s rights, among others.” 

The latter subjects feature prominently in “Bruja,” an utterly intoxicating introduction to an album we cannot wait to hear in full. Led in by a beautifully effected lead guitar soloing over a wondrous rock progression, the song immediately adopts a Southern feel with psychedelic tonalities. Warm and cavernous, the fullness of the sound invites onlookers to listen deeper as Holder’s hearty voice relays a tale of pain and longing, perseverance, confidence, and hope: 

I was a Bruja in my last life 
Cursed to wander this dessert 
For all of time 
I foretold of the coming 
Of all the bloodshed and all the crime 
I haunt these borderlands 
Not quite human 
Not quite beyond the veil 
I am the smell of Creosote 
I am the dust dug underneath your nails 

Call out, I call out 
To raise the bones from the earth 
Call out, I call out 
To march on the men who destroyed you 

For Holder, “Bruja” – a Spanish word which translates to “witch” in English” – is a resounding streak of light in an overwhelming darkness. 

“I call out to march on the men who destroyed you,” she sings in the chorus. In short, the song is a means of avenging and remembering those whom the Mexican Cartel have murdered. 

“I saw an art installation once where 300 plaster casted hearts were hanging from the ceiling,” Holder tells Atwood Magazine. “It was to represent 300 women who had gone missing via the Mexican Cartel. I always wanted to avenge them. I was very into the La Loba (The Wolf Woman) myth at the time. La Loba collects the bones of dead wolves. Once she has the pieces for a whole wolf, she sings and chants and brings another La Loba to life. I love the idea of women being born upon the bones of the women who came before them. I had her raise the bones of the 300 dead women to march as an army on the men who took their lives.” 

Holder continues, “I don’t think women are allowed to get angry or seek revenge without being seen as crazy, emotional, or weak. I think we need to change that. We need to accept our anger so we can work through it and heal. So we can rise up and keep fighting for our rights that are being taken away from us.”

There’s nothing mythical about the unfair treatment of women in society; Holder’s impassioned singing speaks for those who lost their lives, who may no longer use their own voices to fight an ongoing, terrible, and largely unseen battle of gender, power, and place in society. With her dynamic guitar on one side and mesmerizing background vocals on the other, Holder makes a dazzling show of force. Her emotions are tempered, yet we can feel the rage seeping out of the song; “Bruja” is a true spectacle of force meant to awaken our own inner anger – anger over inequality, senseless killing, authorities looking the other way, and anything else you want to throw into the pot. 

Stream Ali Holder’s new song exclusively on Atwood Magazine! 

I exist now to revenge 
Every hand who helped these women 
Meet their end 
I pick them off one by one 
One man for each drop 
400 gallons of blood 
I help the good ones pass 
Cloak them in night 
before they cross into Texas 
My name is La Loba 
I am raising my army of dead 

Call out, I call out 
To raise the bones from the earth 
Call out, I call out 
To march on the men who destroyed you 

https://atwoodmagazine.com/ahbj-bruja-ali-holder-song-premiere/