Interview: Sophie Holohan’s Self-Deprecating “Till I Die” Is an Anthem for Recovering Perfectionists Everywhere

Sophie Holohan © Ira Mapho
Sophie Holohan © Ira Mapho
Indie pop singer/songwriter Sophie Holohan opens up about her irresistible, self-deprecating anthem “Till I Die,” an uplifting reminder that we’re all worthy of love, in spite of our so-called imperfections.
for fans of Lizzy McAlpine, Abby Holliday, girlhouse
Stream: “Till I Die” – Sophie Holohan




I hope people listen and realize how absurd it is to think that you’re only worthy of love when you’re perfect.

I’m so sorry you love me; I’m sure you didn’t mean to, it’s not your fault,” Sophie Holohan sings at the top of her latest single. Her voice is earnest, her delivery direct and sincere as she goes on to explain why loving her is – in her mind, anyway – a mistake: “I just think that it’s funny – you must not have noticed I’m fatally flawed.

It’s a bold way to start a conversation, and an all-too perfect reintroduction to the unapologetic artistry of Sophie Holohan. For two years now, the 21-year-old singer/songwriter has treated the world to a dizzying array of breathtaking alt- and indie pop songs. The newest addition to that repertoire is especially breathtaking: A sonically and emotionally charged eruption of candid self-deprecation and cathartic inner reckoning, “Till I Die” is an uplifting reminder that we’re all worthy of love, in spite of our so-called imperfections.

Till I Die - Sophie Holohan
Till I Die – Sophie Holohan
I’m so sorry you love me
I’m sure you didn’t mean to, it’s not your fault
just think that it’s funny
you must not have noticed I’m fatally flawed
A list of problems that still need to be fixed
And every time I solve em, there’s a new one to pick
And if you tried to love me, I could only predict
All the pain I’d inflict,
So wait till I’m perfect

Released October 13, 2023, “Till I Die” is Sophie Holohan’s enchanting second single of the year following this February’s “I Get What I Want,” and a truly stunning standalone track from the 21-year-old Southern Californian. Already carving out a niche in the indie scene for her diary-like writing and energetic, emotive performances, Holohan is, despite what her newest song says, easy to fall for.

“I honestly think that I am pretty self-deprecating in my day-to-day life,” Holohan admits in conversation with Atwood Magazine. “Is it a defense mechanism? Maybe… But I do think that it’s a feeling that I wanted to put under a microscope in this song for sure.”

”I think I hold myself to a very high standard and have very black and white thinking. If I don’t do something perfectly, then I feel as though it’s bad. From an outside point of view, I am probably not “fatally flawed” or “a list of problems that still need to be fixed,” but as a recovering perfectionist, it’s hard to not see myself that way sometimes.”

“Till I Die” processes (and to a certain extent, pulls apart) these worries and insecurities through sweeping melodies, dynamic beats, and dramatic lyrics that underscore the intensity and unrelenting nature of Holohan’s self-deprecating internal monologue.



She rises to a fever pitch in a buoyant, breakneck chorus, expressing how she will finally show love back when she deems herself “better” – even if that might take “forever”:

I’ll love you back
When I am better (when I am better)
with all I lack
It might take forever (might take forever)
You say you really want me but you’re out of your mind
I know I’d break your heart, and yours is one of a kind
So I’ll love you back
When I am better
But I’ll be getting better till I die.

“I wrote the chorus to almost show myself the absurdity of my own thinking,” Holohan explains. “No one will ever be perfect. No one will ever be fully healed. To be loved is to be met where you are; it’s not just being appreciated because you are already perfect. The song is kind of a self-callout where I need to accept that there is beauty in imperfection because so many people have been imperfect and in love before me. I am not the exception to that.”

Don’t say that you’ll wait, dear
It’s better to rip the bandage clean off
You’ll see when the smoke clears
I was only a quick flame, never the one
Don’t write your parents, please don’t string them along
Then say my only problem is the way I withdraw
Now that much might be true,
but I can’t bare to be wrong,
so it’s best to move on,
but if I’m what what you want then

Spirited and cinematic, “Till I Die” dwells in the dark, all-consuming depths of self-deprecation and insecurity for its full two minute run. If not for its radiant, saccharine, overtly “pop” nature, the same lyrics could very well be put to a brooding, melancholic ballad.

And yet, it’s hard not to feel the sun shine bright throughout this enchanting song. We’ve all felt unworthy of love at some point in our lives, but Sophie Holohan is here to remind us just how ridiculous that thinking truly is.

Atwood Magazine caught up with the rising singer/songwriter to unpack her irresistible new song. Learn everything you ever wanted to know about “Till I Die” in our catch-up interview below, and when you’re done with this song, be sure to Sophie Holohan’s 2022 debut EP The Space Between as well; featuring her runaway hit single “Cognitive Dissonance” and five more bangers, it’s the perfect long(er) form introduction to this stunning new voice.

As for “Till I Die”?

“I hope that people that are listening to the song at face value feel understood when it comes to feeling unlovable,” Holohan shares. “I hope it makes people feel less alone. On the flip side, I feel like it really showcases the almost humorous aspects of my music. The whole song is poking fun at my own insecurities, and I hope people listen and realize how absurd it is to think that you’re only worthy of love when you’re perfect.”

I’ll love you back
When I am better (when I am better)
with all I lack
It might take forever (it might take forever)
You say you really want me but you’re out of your mind
I know I’d break your heart, and yours is one of a kind
So I’ll love you back
When I am better
But I’ll be getting better till I die.
I’m so sorry you love me
I’m sure you didn’t mean to, it’s not your fault
This will only end badly
So don’t call me the one cuz I won’t pick up

— —

:: stream/purchase Till I Die here ::
:: connect with Sophie Holohan here ::
Stream: “Till I Die” – Sophie Holohan



A CONVERSATION WITH SOPHIE HOLOHAN

Till I Die - Sophie Holohan

Atwood Magazine: Can you share a little about the story behind this song? What does this track mean to you?

Sophie Holohan: Of course!! “Till I Die” is a song I wrote about my self-sabotaging tendencies and self-depreciation when it comes to my relationships. I often find myself feeling as though I am innately flawed and I am trying to heal that “broken” part of myself. I wrote this song as kind of a self-call out, knowing that I will never be fully happy with everything about myself or my life, so it’s silly to wait to be loved until I am “healed.”  While I wrote it with romantic relationships in mind, it honestly also pours over into my friendships as well.

I’d love to learn more about your songwriting process! What was your vision going into this track? Did that change over the course of fleshing it out and recording it?

Sophie Holohan: I wrote this song in late January of this year. I was talking to my producer and creative collaborator, Elijah Hill, about what a “Sophie pop song” would look like. Before this song, I had mostly written in a more folky, indie, alternative lane, and I was scared to create something that felt truly pop. I wrote the lyrics super quickly and the entire outline of the song was done in two or three hours, it was a super easy song to write. Over the course of recording the song, we found a lot of ways to make the pop feel like me. Some banjo here. Weird little sound effects there. We didn’t finish the song until August, so it was kind of a lengthy process, but it was so fun seeing it come to life.

Sophie Holohan © Ira Mapho
Sophie Holohan © Ira Mapho



I'm so sorry you love me,” you sing at the top of this song. It's such a provocative way to begin; why did you start the song off like that?

Sophie Holohan: I honestly loved the provocativeness of that line. It’s such a bold way to start a song, especially because a lot of songs related to love are about yearning or loss, while this song starts with certainty. It’s like, “I know you love me, but here’s why you shouldn’t.” The song is more about my issues with feeling loved and less about the other person’s feelings about it.

You go on to sing, “You must not have noticed, I'm fatally flawed - a list of problems thatstillneedto be fixed.” Such self-deprecation! (Very relatable and refreshing in our picture perfect social media landscape). If you don’t mind my asking, is this a part of your personality, or something you specifically wanted to explore and flesh out within the confines of this song?

Sophie Holohan: I honestly think that I am pretty self-deprecating in my day-to-day life. Is it a defense mechanism? Maybe… But I do think that it’s a feeling that I wanted to put under a microscope in this song for sure. I think I hold myself to a very high standard and have very black and white thinking. If I don’t do something perfectly, then I feel as though it’s bad. From an outside point of view, I am probably not “fatally flawed” or “a list of problems that still need to be fixed”, but as a recovering perfectionist, it’s hard to not see myself that way sometimes.

I’d love to understand the chorus better from your perspective, too! “I know I'd break your heart and yours is one of a kind. So I’ll love you back when I am better, but I'll be getting better 'til I die.” Because you love them, you only want to give them the best possible version of yourself, but that person… might never exist? What’s your perspective on this?

Sophie Holohan: I wrote the chorus to almost show myself the absurdity of my own thinking. No one will ever be perfect. No one will ever be fully healed. To be loved is to be met where you are; it’s not just being appreciated because you are already perfect. The song is kind of a self-callout where I need to accept that there is beauty in imperfection because so many people have been imperfect and in love before me. I am not the exception to that.

Sophie Holohan plays live © Kirsten Newbrough
Sophie Holohan plays live © Kirsten Newbrough



Why the title “Till I Die”?

Sophie Holohan: With my black and white thinking, everything feels so all or nothing. It’s either, “I will have the most beautiful, romantic love to ever exist” or “I will never find love ever,” so it’s kind of a reference to my fear that if I am imperfect I will die alone because I will be actively healing until I die.

How do you feel “Till I Die” introduces you to folks who are just discovering you today, through this song?

Sophie Holohan: It’s definitely my most “pop” song that I have, so I don’t necessarily think that it encompasses all of my layers in one track, but if “Till I Die” introduces people to my music, I think it does a good job of showing off my lyricism and my ability to take heavy concepts and make them a little bit more palatable.

Do you have any favorite moments or highlights on this track?

Sophie Holohan: I love how fun the song feels in contrast with how dark the lyrics are. I also think that it’s really silly that the post chorus is just me repeating “die” a bunch of times. Out of context, that makes me chuckle. I also really like how the pre-choruses sound like racing thoughts. I made the rhyme scheme really quick in that section to emulate anxiety. I love making a melody mimic the meaning of the words.

Sophie Holohan © Ira Mapho
Sophie Holohan © Ira Mapho



Lastly, what do you hope listeners take away from “Till I Die”? Do you have any takeaways from making it?

Sophie Holohan: I hope that people that are listening to the song at face value feel understood when it comes to feeling unlovable. I hope it makes people feel less alone. On the flip side, I feel like it really showcases the almost humorous aspects of my music. The whole song is poking fun at my own insecurities, and I hope people listen and realize how absurd it is to think that you’re only worthy of love when you’re perfect.

What's next for you over these next two months of the year?

Sophie Holohan: Over the next two months, I am working on a bunch of new music in preparation for next year. I truly feel as though these next tunes are the best that I have ever created, and I am so excited to finish them and get them out! I’m also excited to spend some time with my family and wind down during the holidays because this year has been super busy and fun and crazy.

— —

:: stream/purchase Till I Die here ::
:: connect with Sophie Holohan here ::
Stream: “Till I Die” – Sophie Holohan



— — — —

Till I Die - Sophie Holohan

Connect to Sophie Holohan on
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Discover new music on Atwood Magazine
? © Ira Mapho

:: Stream Sophie Holohan ::



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