Holander is LA’s glitter grunge princess. She’s garnered a reputation for interweaving evocative stories with raw emotions against the backdrop of edgy, earworm pop melodies. Her music explores the corners of alternative pop by masterfully knitting together brat, brooding, and electro-pop hooks and introspective lyrics. In 2019 she released her EP Glitter Grunge, which includes her hit Boy Tears. This year, she has released two singles, Car Crash, and Quarantine Love Song.
I was able to chat with Holander over Zoom to talk to her about her music and what we can expect to hear on her next EP. Read an excerpt from our conversation below, and scroll down to listen to the full interview!
PopRocks: Who are some of your influences that you listened to growing up?
Holander: Well I grew up on classic rock, which is very different from what I do. But I do think my live performances are very influenced by classic rock. I used to watch a lot of videos of The Who and Woodstock, and my dad is a big Bruce Springteen fan. My first real lyrical influence is Regina Spektor. I feel like she taught me how to song write, in a way. When I transitioned into pop music, honestly my turning point was Roses by The Chainsmokers, which is really funny. I listen to Lorde a lot, big Lorde fan. I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift a lot since I was little. I think Taylor Swift is kind of a given in pop music, but she’s incredible. Also, The 1975 was the first band I felt like was mine.
PopRocks: When did you start singing?
Holander: I grew up in musical theater so I’ve been singing since I was young! I wrote my first song when I was in sixth grade. My sister one day was like, “let’s go into our rooms and not come out until we write a song!” After that, I loved writing so much, I wrote throughout middle school and high school and still!
PopRocks: Who are some current artists who inspire your sound?
Holander: Charli XCX is a big one! She’s incredible. I love her lyric writing, her melody writing, her production, everything. I’ve been getting really into Conan Gray. I think he’s really unique. I got really into Jon Bellion recently. I have an upcoming unreleased EP and he was a big inspiration during that time period.
PopRocks: Congrats on your EP, Glitter Grunge. It's so sick. Are u Dwn is my jam! Also from that is Boy Tears. That’s a popular song, what do you think about it resonates with people?
Holander: It’s funny, I’ve been trying to figure this out, because I feel like it resonates with boys a lot! Which is funny because it’s like, fuck you, I’m going to drink your tears! I actually wrote that song with a couple of guys so I think it came out in a way where it’s not aggressive or mean, it’s just fun and playful, which was my intention. I think with my music in general, I’m trying to empower people. I’m trying to write lyrics where you can be like, “I’m a badass, I don’t give a fuck!” I think for people to sing along to a song like that, people can feel confident and powerful in situations where that may not feel powerful. In high school, I had a lot of social anxiety, and when I would go to parties I would have songs I would listen to to pump me up. That’s the music that I decided I wanted to make.
PopRocks: Another favorite is Car Crash! When I was watching the tour diaries, every show someone was like, “Car Crash!” Also, that music video is WILD. It is so fun! What was it like filming that?
Holander: It was just like living out my dream of wrecking my exes kitchen and being a zombie. The concept was that I died in the car crash and came back as a zombie and came back to terrorize my exes kitchen.
PopRocks: What’s Car Crash about?
Holander: A couple months ago, I crashed my car. I was upset about a breakup and was distracted while driving and crashed into the car in front of me and it was totaled. It was scary, but that experience made me not give a fuck about it anymore and take care of myself and realize that I’m the most important thing in my life. These people who do me wrong are not important to me anymore. I also see it as a celebration of life, and that’s because I could have died in that crash. It was scary, and I came out without a scratch. I felt like there was a reason for me to be here and have a voice.
PopRocks: Also, you just put out a new song which is the cutest song ever, Quarantine Love Song. How did this song come about?
Holander: I’m quarantined with a friend of mine, m0dality. We wanted to write a song and we were like, what are the tools that we have? I can’t work with producers, but I have a ukulele and a guitar so let’s make a little acoustic thing. The only thing on my mind was that we are stuck here, and I thought about the idea of what if it’s a love song and we can’t see each other. All of my music is light but has a purpose and there’s depth to lyrics, but it’s packaged and sugar coated with this light packaging. It’s meant to make you feel good and have an escape!
PopRocks: Can you tell me about what we can expect from your future music?
Holander: It’s a digital theme, I think I’m going to call It Digital Queen. I have a song that I was going to put out in April, but the quarantine kind of changed stuff. I guess I can tease it on here… it’s called E-Girl! I’m really excited about that one. I played it on tour so some of my fans know about it already. It’s continuing on feeling empowered but with a digital theme. There’s a couple more darker grungy ones, there’s two songs that are a couple more bubbly.
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Check out our full interview below!