Watch Alisa Amador at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

Music Features Alisa Amador
Watch Alisa Amador at the Paste Magazine East Austin Block Party Presented by Ilegal Mezcal

“Warning for the audience, I am playing all the devastating songs of the album today,” Alisa Amador said as she started our final recording session on the last day of the East Austin Block Party at Coral Snake.

Amador joined us for an intimate set, just her and her guitar, playing a rare four-song session from her new album Multitudes, out June 7th via Thirty Tigers. Though the songs she played us that day were sad, Amador promised her new album will carry you through a full range of emotions, “So though you may shed a tear today, I will try to heal you when you hear this whole record.” she said.

Full Session

In her conversation with Paste session host Brad Wagner, Amador said she associates her first song, “Woke Up Today,” with depression. Originally written as a self-healing exercise, she didn’t plan to release it, since people see her as happy-go-lucky. Now, it’s the first single on the album and she’s extremely proud of the journey she took to release it.

Beyond it being a beautiful song, the vulnerability of “Woke Up Today” allowed her and Wagner to have a candid conversation around destigmatizing mental health.

Giving us a peek behind the curtain, Amador touched on her struggles with depression, mental health, creative block and how terrifying those can all be during the ascension of your career when you are expected to be at your most creative, happy and inspired.

“Woke Up Today”

A moment of crowd participation is hard to accomplish even for seasoned performers, but Amador went headfirst into it in her second song “Enough”, and it paid off, as the crowd sang the words with her, echoing through the chorus. Amador said “This song is dedicated to anyone living with grief. When you have lost something so important to you, that it’s like nothing will never be enough to replace that loss.”


“Enough” is about how long the memory of people we’ve lost stays after they’ve gone. It is a deeper sense of loss, because you are living with the presence of their absence.

Her third song, “Pasajeras“ (Passengers in English), is about “seeing your friend in pain and not being able to help them.” The tenderness in Amador’s music extends beyond herself, expressing an empathy that takes on others’ pain as though it were her own. Before playing the song, she gave a quick translation of the chorus: “I saw you in the field crying/ and it was such a waterfall of tears that you can lose yourself/ I wish I knew what I could do if I knew what the future held for us/ but we are passengers on paper boats.”


Written as a way of healing through trauma, “Multitudes” took five years to compose. Amador shared that winning the NPR tiny desk contest in 2022 in the midst of this was jarring, as she found herself playing her songs for much bigger audiences, while she was questioning if she was still even a songwriter. She confessed to thinking in the back of her head, “little do they know I’m not a writer anymore.”

Before closing out with her fourth song, “Heartless Author”, she spoke with us regarding how this collection of songs helped her move through her feelings of grief and get past her writer’s block. “Getting back into writing was absolutely part of that process. I couldn’t write for a long time,“ Amador said, “I realized that I had to re-approach writing almost the way that I did when I was a kid, not judge myself, and not think about a product at all,” She added “I had to tell myself ‘It’s going to be bad, and it can be bad.’” Through this, she managed to find her way back to that creative spark.

Despite her meteoric success, Amador is a humble and gracious performer, feeding off the room, grateful to share with us these new songs. Amador’s understanding of love threatens to overwhelm the listener as her music wraps them up in emotion. Her vulnerability is a superpower.

“Heartless Author”

With lyrics like “Today the writer in my head took a break/ In came a heartless author that I couldn’t shake/ how do I get you to go when I’m doubting all I know?” Amador demonstrates her raw lyrical prowess, projecting a sentiment that is so specific and relatable over her angelic warm harmonies. The time taken to carefully craft this album was clearly well worth the wait.

Amador talked about how surreal it feels to be doing music full time, and to lean into the discomfort of being honest all the time. “It’s uncomfortable, and it makes other people uncomfortable, but I’m so much happier.” Leaving us with some final words of positivity, she said with a smile, “to anyone watching who is a musician, the secret ingredient to life is being yourself and being good to yourself.”

Alisa Amador is a force—not despite her feelings, but because of them.

Thank you so much to Alisa Amador, Coral Snake Austin and our friends at Ilegal Mezcal for helping us put together these awesome sessions. Come back next week for more of our session coverage!

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