Who Is Allison Ponthier? Meet Pop Music’s Next Great Singer-Songwriter

by:

Beauty

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How did you celebrate?

We went to the park, had a cake, hung out, and played music. It was a great time.

Were there any artists in particular who inspired you with your new EP, Shaking Hands With Elvis?

This EP has a lot more rock influence. The second single, “Hardcore,” was produced by Ariel [Rechstshaid, who produces Vampire Weekend and HAIM], so I think that his production lends itself to those kinds of sounds. I also really love The Mamas and the Papas, John Prine, Greta Van Fleet, and Cage the Elephant. And really good storytellers, like Brandy Carlisle or Father John Misty, will always influence me until the day I die. I know a lot of artists write incredible songs about love, but I don’t write a lot of love songs—I write songs to describe feelings or moments that maybe don’t have a song yet.

How does your fashion aesthetic compare to your onstage style?

In my daily life, I wear the baggiest clothes of all time. I have Kiss and Slipknot T-shirts that I’m obsessed with. For my shows, though, I told my best friend and stylist Megan McDearman that I would love to look like a fairy on tour. I stumbled across this dress brand called Malicious Designs that make custom vintage-style dresses that are fairylike. They were back ordered for months, but Megan somehow got them to make me two dresses in three days. It was crazy. When I zip into this neon green fairy dress, I really do feel different. It feels like I’ve had three cups of coffee when I put it on and I’m ready to have a 10-out-of-10 experience. Honestly, I’ll probably start wearing them in my regular life too.

What do you plan to buy with your first big paycheck?

When I first signed my deal, I bought a vintage LG-2 acoustic guitar, which I use on tour. Outside of that, I feel like I have everything I could ever want. Though one day I hope to have a bunch of animals. I would love to have ferrets, frogs, snakes, cats…a whole room just for animals. I love animals that have a little bit of an undeserved bad reputation. Basically, any animals a witch would have, I want.

What’s something that you learned from Jack Antonoff while touring with Bleachers?

In 2017, I went to my first-ever big stadium concert. My girlfriend bought us tickets to see Lorde at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and Jack actually came on stage and performed a cover of St. Vincent’s “New York.” I cried from start to finish because it was my all-time favorite song, and it felt like that exact moment was made for me. That concert absolutely changed my life.

I knew that I had to tell him what that performance meant to me, all these years later, but I was nervous. It’s scary to talk to people who you admire. When I said to him, “Look, I have to tell you that this happened and is probably why I’m doing what I’m doing now,” he absolutely lit up and was so happy. He was so excited to hear it. I learned from Jack that it doesn’t matter how big you get or how influential you are in the culture, it’s still really important to celebrate moments that impact people. There are so many benchmarks to success, but the ones that really matter is how you reach people.

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