|“Too Late” ponders the moments of doubt that can accompany getting older: Did you miss your chance? Are you doing enough to make the most of opportunities? And what happens if circumstances get in the way of your momentum? Holler says the singer-songwriter “captures an emotionally honest moment of self-doubt” and notes, “against a somber acoustic guitar, Bruce’s voice climbs, aspiring to something more…Bass and drums enter after the chorus, grounding the song with a heftier weight that balances Bruce’s soaring voice.”
The title track, the first song written for the album and the catalyst for the rest, chronicles feelings in the wake of a life changing, of finding your place in a new reality.
The last song written for the project was “To Be Needed,” finished after she gathered some of her last belongings from her ex, while the last song on the album, “Sweet Speculation,” ends the collection with a wink and a nod.
“No breakup, or change, or chapter of life ever comes to a perfect conclusion. It lingers and teaches you new things about yourself and your needs and flaws along the way,” she says. “I didn’t know it when I set out on writing this project, but writing these songs allowed me to trust that I can be powerful, that I don’t need everyone to like me all the time, and that my ability to love people so fully is actually a superpower.”
Bruce was raised in Ogden, Utah, a mountain town north of Salt Lake City. She always felt like a bit of a social outcast, raised by “proud, alcohol-drinking sinners” in a town that centered heavily around religion. She taught herself to play guitar at age 15 on a borrowed guitar, partly in an attempt to process feelings about teen crushes and the myriad emotions that accompany young adulthood, but also as a way to be seen as more than just a “theater kid.” Once she started playing and writing, she realized she didn’t care much at all what other people thought when she could get lost in emulating Joni Mitchell’s tunings and Shawn Colvin’s fingerpicking patterns.
“Telling stories is what I do. Whether I’m acting in a Broadway theatre or playing guitar in a club or just recounting a wild weekend night to a friend, there’s nothing I love more than taking people with me on a genuine emotional journey,” Bruce says. “And it just so happens that when I play my own original songs, I get to tell my stories—the stories I need to tell to make sense of my life and the world around me.”
“I think this album sort of represents my journey from growing up as a social pariah in such a conservative place to eventually finding my power through my writing and storytelling. I really value authenticity and truth, even when it’s messy.”