Allison Ponthier: High Line Bash 2023

Allison Ponthier (Photo by Maris Jones, PR)
by Kara Manning | 08/30/2023 | 6:46am

Allison Ponthier (Photo by Maris Jones, PR)

A night of spectacular music, decadent food and drink, and celebration, this year's WFUV High Line Bash takes place on Friday, May 12, at New York's City Winery. Buy tickets here, before they sell out. As our listeners know, we've lined up a formidable five artists and bands: The Hold Steady, Allison Russell, Allison Ponthier, Brandi and the Alexanders, and Joe McGinty's Superstar Piano Bar. Each week leading up to the Bash, a focus on those musicians who will make our very special night shine:

Although Allison Ponthier’s lovely, limpid vocals carry the distant twang of her native Texas, it’s her adult life in Brooklyn, not her childhood in the rural Bible Belt, that has shaped her as a songwriter.

The stirring “Cowboy,” found on her 2021 debut EP, Faking My Own Death, is a resonant metaphor of how New York City gave Ponthier the liberty to be herself: proud, queer, and finally accepted. “I didn’t feel like I knew myself for a long time,” she told FUV during a 2022 session with host Alisa Ali.

Ponthier’s 2022 EP, Shaking Hands with Elvis, enabled her to grieve a friend’s sudden passing — the title is a euphemism for death. While her hit, “Hollywood Forever Cemetery,” and “Autopilot” wrestle with mortality and fear, there’s a deft lightness to Ponthier’s music that keeps darker despair at bay.

“Character Development,” a new single released in March, contrasts Ponthier’s sweet, somersaulting soprano with a brusque message aimed at anyone who has used and abused her. She describes this pure pop gem as “cathartic,” co-writing it with Grammy nominees K. Flay and Tommy English (who also produced).

Raised in the Dallas suburbs, Ponthier studied jazz vocals at the University of North Texas for 18 months before dropping out and moving to New York at the tender age of 20. She supported herself with odd jobs, from drawing pet portraits to wrangling Snapchat for the Museum of Natural History, all while writing songs. In 2020, she signed to Interscope Records.

Ponthier sang on Lord Huron’s “I Lied” from their 2021 album, Long Lost, and toured with them, her first major outing. Last year, she hit the road with Jack Antonoff’s band Bleachers and this past April, she opened for Guster at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester.

During her FUV Live session, she also thanked the radio station for playing “Hollywood Forever Cemetery” (her friends would routinely send her videos of them listening to it on 90.7FM). How happy we are to welcome this gifted singer and songwriter — and urban cowboy — to the 2023 High Line Bash.

Weekdays at Noon

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