Sarah Ryder pays homage to the women who have impacted her life with the poignant ballad “Woman,” available Friday. Written with PJ Ju, “Woman” highlights the struggles and insecurities women often face while also providing an anthem for the unyielding support system they provide.
“This song is one that is near and dear to my heart and always will be,” Ryder tells Sounds Like Nashville. “Every line in the song was written with a woman in mind that I respect, admire and love…though it really is about every woman in the world.
“Women are so capable of doing so many things while being emotionally there for people in so many ways,” she continues. “It’s a superpower, and when on the receiving end of it, it is a wonderfully safe space to be in. I would not be who I am today without the women who have shaped and supported me along the way.”
Ryder wrote “Woman” after realizing she had been penning love songs and songs about men who did her wrong but wanted to celebrate the woman in her life that helped her through past heartaches. The delicately plucked guitar parts and warm strokes of the piano complement Ryder’s whispered vocals on the emotive ballad.
“You’re a phone call when tears fall cause you’ll build her right back up/ Though you’d never tell you’re going through hell and could use the help yourself,” Ryder sings. It’s this lyric that holds special significance to Ryder. “That line is my mother. It’s my cousin. It’s my best friends,” she says of the song’s second verse.
“Woman” was produced by Johnny Garcia (Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks). Garcia, who has been Yearwood’s band leader for more than 20 years, also has been an early champion of Ryder’s. After some time in Los Angeles, Ryder moved to Nashville in 2013 and began collaborating with Garcia.
“Working with Johnny Garcia has been the coolest blessing in my life!” Ryder adds. “Not only did I gain family, I gained an awesome person to learn from. He has some pretty great stories from life on the road and lots of wisdom to share. I am lucky to have him in my life.”
The music video for “Woman,” which Sounds Like Nashville premieres above, has Ryder strolling through the woods in a ball gown while shining a light on the many roles women play in life.
“Filming ‘Woman’ was so fun, though a little difficult walking in heels and a ball gown in the woods,” Ryder admits. “Sean Hagwell, the director, is just incredible to work with. He is a true creative and he makes everything so cinematic. We had an awesome group of people involved. It was really special for me, and I felt like a woodland princess all at the same time.”
“Woman” is the first taste of new music from Ryder, who will release her debut full-length album in 2022. Watch the video for “Woman” above.