Every other week, Anthony Kozlowski pens the Atwood Magazine column Tunes & Tumblers, pairing new and classic albums with cocktail recipes. He quickly found however that drinking alone is a sad business. So he invited his friends Pedro Isaac Chairez and Ryan James into a recording booth to aid in mixing delicious drinks and to discuss the music that they all love. Strap on your headphones and enjoy a cold one on us.
She’s a party of one. She wants you to play her body like a kick drum. She drinks boy tears. She’s Holander and she’s here to rock your world with glitter, sass, and a whole lot of radical vulnerability. Grab your headphones and down a mug of tears all your own.
We’re back! After and interminable winter break, the trio behind Atwood Magazine’s premiere podcast returns to the studio. We set the bar pretty high for hot seat talent in season one, but we’re just getting started. On the unmissable premiere of Tunes & Tumblers’ second season, we’re joined by an up-and-coming pop artist who is soon to become a mainstay on all your dance night playlists.
What hits first about Holander is her look. Neon pink hair pulled up in playful ponytails with a pop of blue eye shadow and glitter for days. She’s a candy store wrapped in one bubbly, unabashedly eclectic package. And her music reflects that.
Her debut EP Glitter Grunge is an infectious quilt of dance, electropop, and unwavering honesty dipped in pink with plenty of confetti. But perhaps more strikingly, it’s a fully realized and sleekly produced statement from such a young artist (she just turned 23, to which she might say, “I guess no one likes me anymore.”)
“I used to hate pink,” confesses Holander. For a time she says she associated the color with femininity, and by extension – weakness. As unfortunate as that sounds, it points to the kind of unconscious conditioning we’re all exposed to. But challenging the patriarchy can be as simple as overturning the notions of what femininity even means to us. For Holander, that paradigm shift happened when she realized there could be power in embodying femininity. There’s strength in gentleness, compassion, and expressing emotion.
Pink is powerful.
She wanted to dye her hair, but her boyfriend at the time protested, claiming it would look tacky. Needless to say, that relationship crumpled. Immediately she took the plunge into neon pink locks, half as an act of self-empowerment and half as a cathartic “f*** you!” She is Holander. She’s bubblegum and sour candy apple. She’s a sugar rush and a wildfire. She is in her feels and she wants to get you in yours. She’s about to become your new obsession.
an EP by Holander
Holander’s first artistic statement bequeathed to the world brims with effervescent pop energy, but packs an emotional depth in every sugar-coated second. “Everybody’s in their feels,” she sings on the showstopping “Boy Tears.” It’s this ethos she puts forward from start to finish. Glitter Grunge is dance pop for anyone reaching for the reigns of their own story, living in their feelings without being ashamed of them.
Y’all just want to make out in your pickup truck.
Break if off, want it back, like suck it up
But Im’a run it up like an aqueduct
Now I’m out here sippin’
“I cry all the time,” she confesses. “But it allows me to not carry things with me.” There’s a strength in being able to let go like this, to acknowledge one’s feelings and allow them to take their course. Through a criminally brief five tracks, Holander blends the club with a therapist’s office. “Headphones” is an indie dreamscape that meditates on the ability of music and art to soothe one’s anxiety. “Party of One” celebrates self-love as a revolutionary act.
“My songs often come from a place of feeling angry or powerless,” she says. “But through them, I can flip the script and take back the power.” A good cry can feel cleansing. At the other side, you realize that you are still you and you are the author of your own experience. Glitter Grunge is that dose of ecstatic self-acceptance.
“Making music doesn’t get rid of the challenges,” she clarifies. “But it feels like you made something out of them that is tangible and is yours. Now that situation that was horrible is something beautiful.
Morphing negativity into beauty is the mantra behind this week’s spiritous pairing. Sip those tears responsibly.
- 5 oz white rum
- 1 oz amaretto
- 5oz blue curaçao
- ½ lime (juiced)
- 1 tsp fresh dragon fruit
- Lightly muddle the dragon fruit in a shaker.
- Pour all ingredients into shaker and add crushed ice.
- Shake and pour into a tumbler.
- Garnish with edible pink glitter and dragon fruit rind
A first listen to Glitter Grunge brings two words to mind: confidence and candy. Immediately we knew our boozy creation needed something bold, strong, colorful, and eye-catching.
Holander is a fan of rum, so we decided the season two premiere was the best opportunity to prepare our first cocktail with the island liquor as a base. And it will soon become the envy of tiki bars everywhere.
To hear her tell it, boy tears are her favorite drink, so we decided to fix her some. Despite Ryan’s insistence though, no tears were used in the making of this drink. If we had more time, we would have done it the right way – poaching a dude from Tinder, bringing him home, and shaming him until he cried into our shaker. Even without all that, Boy Tears mark a new creative height for the T&T mixology team.
Aesthetically, our concoction nails her trademark look. Its bright blue hue evokes her eye shadow and the butterfly triplets she sprinkles like stickers in all her socials. The fluorescent pink topper matches that of her wild hair perfectly.
We start with white rum and muddled dragon fruit, and mix in blue Curaçao to give it its vibrant hue. Glitter Grunge beats a persistent, passionate pulse with songs like “Party of One,” and “Kick Drum,” so Pedro thought it fitting to pay homage to the orgasm cocktail. The amaretto finds its way in with a nod to this sultry classic.
We round it out with a little lime juice to cut the sweetness and garnish with glitter to give it a sexy sheen. Finish it off with a dragon fruit rind and some salt, because what are tears without a little salt? Your tongue is guaranteed to turn bluer and bluer the more fun you have, so why not show it off? Drink up those tasty boy tears like you don’t give a f–
Standing on the cusp of a new decade, the world of Tunes & Tumblers is about to get a lot bigger. Season two is all about expanding horizons.
Kicking things off with Holander sets the stage for what is sure to be one hell of a 2020 (at least as far as music is concerned). She fills the studio with an unflappable presence on today’s episode, and her energy can be felt on the mic. In this unmissable premiere, she lays out her history as a musician, from locking herself in her bedroom with her younger sister and forcing herself to write a song, to fronting an indie band, to finally embracing her voice as a solo artist.
She also lets us in on some nightmare stories from gigging as a DJ (that may or may not involve a death or two) and Ryan brainstorms a monumental idea to make the 2020 election fun and sexy.
But most importantly, the season two premiere of Tunes & Tumblers is about mining beauty and self-confidence from anxiety. Our greatest insecurities can yield incredible growth and art. We are all emotional beings – fierce, compassionate, vulnerable, and ultimately strong. As Holander strikes out beyond her confident debut, she holds that ethos close to heart. “My music is my ideal version of myself,” she affirms. “It’s who I want to be. I feel I get closer every time I write something.”
Catch Holander LIVE as she heads out on tour with HOLYCHILD this February. Check local listings below:
:: HOLANDER TOUR DATES ::
2/21 The Moroccan Lounge – Los Angeles, CA
2/22 Cornerstone Craft Beer & Live Music – Berkeley, CA
2/27 Songbyrd Music House – Washington, DC
2/28 Elsewhere – Zone One – Brooklyn, NY
3/01 Once Ballroom – Somerville, MA
tix & more info @ holychildmusic.com
Tunes & Tumblers 201:
Holander and Boy Tears
Catch up on Tunes & Tumblers wherever you listen to your podcasts!
If you want to add any of the music discussed to your library, check out the full episode playlist below:
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© XKYLAR & Pedro Isaac Chairez