VISTA — Using her soulful voice and natural songwriting talent, Vista musician Ashley Hollander will release her latest album, “From the Ashes” this month.
The Escondido native, whose been performing since she was just 9 years old, said her second album was two years in the making and shares some of the biggest secrets of her life.
“I am giving away all my secrets on this album,” Hollander said. “To me, these words are my diary and now I’m sharing those intimate details with the world. Vulnerability on display is a tricky thing. It requires courage and bravery, but ultimately that recipe is needed in order for the artist and the listener to connect.”
Known throughout the region for her impassioned voice and warm persona, Hollander said her latest album delivers high-energy tunes coupled with talent from her team made up of producers, engineers and other musicians.
But it’s her songwriting that will leave a lasting impression on listeners. Hollander said she wrote all the songs on her latest album, deriving each from her own life experiences.
“Some of the experiences that contributed to this album came from a place of sheer hope,” Hollander said. “It’s the highs, the lows, and everything in between. My intention in creating music is to find the tension in life. Where there is a push and pull, and how can I use music to facilitate that message and connect with others who may be experiencing the same things I am.”
With that goal in mind, Hollander said she hopes listeners will walk away from the album feeling the same type of emotions she felt creating her music.
“It is my hope that listeners take away a sense of purpose and strength from this album,” said Hollander, who finds inspiration from The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin and The King Elvis Presley. “I hope they find courage where maybe they didn’t see it before. I hope my listeners find connection in these songs.”
Cheyne Dolly, a longtime friend who worked with Hollander on her latest album, said emotion and love shines through in “From the Ashes.”
“I feel like music can draw from a number of places,” Dolly said. “There are musicians who draw from headspace, who are very calculated musically. I’d say Ashley draws 100% from the heart, and her music very much reflects that. It’s an emotional experience more than it is just a musical arrangement.”
Not only does her music capture raw emotion, her natural talent is unmatched as well, Dolly said.
“She sings with conviction and a power that can quite literally blow you away,” Dolly said. “She has a way or making everyone around her feel welcomed, heard, and empowered. It’s encouraging.”
Dolly added that “From the Ashes” is just the beginning of what the audience can expect from Hollander’s career.
“(‘From the Ashes’ is) one those albums you want to sit with and really listen to and soak in,” Dolly said. “It really taps into Ashley’s abilities as a writer and vocalist and she invites the listener to come alongside her and wrestle some of life’s demons. This is the introduction — we’re just getting started.”
With the release of “From the Ashes,” Hollander is hopeful to share her music with as many people as possible. She also hopes the public will support other local musicians.
“I want anyone and everyone to listen to this album and make it their own,” Hollander said. “Local musicians can only thrive on the support of those that love them. We have something really special here and people need to experience that.”
For more information about HLLNDR, go to hllndr.com.
Hoa Quach has 15 years of experience in journalism, garnering multiple awards ranging from investigative reporting to feature writing. She’s been named a “Woman Who Means Business” by the San Diego Business Journal, featured in BuzzFeed during International Women’s Day and recognized by the California Legislature for her work. You can reach her at email@example.com.