EXCLUSIVE PREMIERE: Holander Brings a Fresh Perspective on Party Culture With “Something Real”

LA-based electro-pop artist Holander tackles the struggles of her generation head-on with her new confessional electro-pop single “Something Real”, premiering exclusively on CelebMix.

Carly Harpur Hollander, who recently adopted the pseudonym Holander, made her debut as an artist in 2017 with a bold yet bubbly song “Little Less Shy”. Her last single, the galactic-themed dance-pop tune “Satellite”, just hit 15,000 streams on Spotify.

Her third and newest single, “Something Real”, is a song by the youth, for the youth, about the youth. Holander takes on the persona of a typical party girl observing the craziness of a party around her. With the backdrop of groovy synth melodies, Holander observes an inner struggle in the people around her. The hook of the song,”I’m just trying to feel something real”, sums up this struggle perfectly.

While many songs themed around parties carry little weight lyrically, “Something Real” addresses the potentially toxic nature of party culture with cleverly written lyrics such as “skip the bill on the caviar, disregard who we really are”. The setting of a “lifeless party” is as much of a juxtaposition as the song itself. Beyond the glitzy appeal of parties (portrayed by the catchiness of the song) lies an aching emptiness conveyed through the introspective lyrics and Holander’s airy vocals.

The track is relatable and gives a voice to the feelings of numbness many young people struggle with and choose to conceal using alcohol or drugs. It holds an underlying message about the importance of genuine connection and authenticity when confronted by the glamorous facade of parties, only amplified by the digital age we live in. Despite these serious undertones, “Something Real” will still make you want to get up and dance. So, ironically, it’s actually a pretty good song to play at a party.

Listen to “Something Real” here:

What’s next for Holander in 2018? She already has a performance lined up at L.A’s “Women Fuck Shit Up Fest” on February 24th, a female-fronted festival in support of L.A’s Center for Law and Justice. Before the release of the song, we got a chance to ask Holander some questions about “Something Real”, her name change, the inspiration behind her music, and more! Read our full interview below.

What made you want to change your artist name and why did you choose Holander?

Well! I recently brought on an incredible manager, Amanda Verdadero, and through our conversations, she inspired me to come up with something a little more fun and original than my full name that I was going by before. I really always wanted to keep my last name, because it goes back several generations and grounds me in my roots. Reminds me where I came from. We created a funky variation on it, and I dig how it’s a little eccentric since you’ve never seen it spelled this way before. I’m excited because I feel like it fits my music vibes really well.

What was your inspiration for “Something Real”? We love the contrast of serious lyrics with an upbeat tune! 

College kids. Frat parties. People getting wasted out of their minds. I wanted to explore what they are really thinking. What they are really doing. Why they are doing it. I think we all are constantly trying to fill a void and find our purpose in life, and I think manufactured highs are a big part of that search for my generation. We’re all trying to feel alive.

It’s funny because I wrote this song while I was still with my long-term ex, but its taken on a whole new meaning since we broke up. It’s become my breakup anthem. I was so hurt that I was doing anything and everything to distract myself and feel good. This song has grown with me and had multiple meanings for me, and I hope everyone hears the song in their own way. I think everyone their own journey trying to feel something real.

Lyrics and melody! It’s meant to be a playful song with a real message. I definitely love writing serious lyrics with upbeat melodies. It’s like, you’re dancing, and then you’re like, oh shoot, that’s deep!

What’s the main message you want to spread with “Something Real?”

I hope people relate and realize they are not alone. We are all searching for purpose, and we all do that in different ways. My favorite realization within the last year is that: no one knows what the f*** they’re doing. We’re all winging it. It’s comforting and liberating.

In “Something Real” you take on the persona of a partygoer trying to make sense of the situation unfolding around her. Why did you choose to tell the story from the perspective of a character?

Ooh! I come from an acting background. My parents wrote sitcoms. I love stories and characters. I felt like the most effective and fun way to tell the story of “Something Real” was to play the badass party chick who doesn’t care about anything but is actually angsty and has a lot of feelings. It’s definitely a character, but the character is very me. Plus, who doesn’t love singing songs that make you feel confident and cool?”

Who are some of your biggest musical inspirations?

Currently, Lorde and The 1975. For songwriting, Regina Spektor and Lou Reed. All-time faves are The Who and The Velvet Underground. Beatles are a given, but worth mentioning because they definitely influence my writing a whole lot. I am consuming tons of new music every day though! My go-to song right now is “Real Life” – Sizzy Rocket.

What other plans do you have on the horizon for 2018?

In the near future, I’m playing a bunch of gigs in the LA area and outside, releasing my first music video, still writing like a crazy person and collaborating with some mad talented producers and musicians. I’ve got some super dope surprises coming up and will definitely be releasing some more tunes I’ve been dying to share.

With her name change marking a fresh start, “Something Real” may be Holander’s best single to date. Her dainty yet powerful vocals carry the song and perfectly complement the electro-pop instrumentation. We can’t wait to see how she continues to refine her sound and what direction she will take with future releases.

You can keep up with Holander by following her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. “Something Real” is available to stream on Spotify.

What are your thoughts on Holander’s newest single “Something Real”? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix!

Written by Annemarie Cutruzzola

Canadian arts & culture writer and journalism student.