Releasing her first album in 2001 at the young age of eighteen, singer-songwriter Haley Bonar had already compiled an impressive discography before dropping Impossible Dream this summer. Bonar’s latest gem has received rave reviews, leading to appearances on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts and Later … With Jools Holland. The legendary Elton John has even sung her praise on his radio show.
Impossible Dream is indeed worthy of the attention its been getting. From start to finish, the record not only thrills with catchy melodies, but also provides a poignant look into the continuous struggle between self-doubt and establishing your own identity. It’s a reflective journey for Bonar, introspectively looking back at who she’s been in the past, and who she’s become.
On Thursday December 1st, Haley Bonar will make her first ever appearance in Santa Fe, at the Skylight, joined by fellow Minnesotans Night Moves. Mecca Lecca emailed Bonar a few questions in anticipation of the show.
Are there any aspects of being a professional musician that you were apprehensive about when first starting off but have come to really enjoy over the years?
Performing used to be a source of great anxiety. I liked to perform, but not because I wanted to entertain as much as I just wanted to sing. Over the years, I’ve come to like it, and it can more often than not be a release more than a source of stress.
Impossible Dream has deservedly received tremendous praise. How reassuring has it been to receive such positive feedback? And has that led to a noticeable change in the size of the crowds you’re playing to?
Yes, it is. The audiences overseas have been amazing. Here, it depends on the town, but generally speaking I think so?
I’m a huge Low fan. Alan Sparhawk has played in your band in the past and you’ve toured a bit with Low as well over the years. How has Alan impacted your approach to songwriting?
We worked together a lot a long time ago… we definitely respect each other’s work.
Your side project Gramma’s Boyfriend offers a more 80s dance punk vibe. Would you say you draw from a different well of inspiration for Gramma’s Boyfriend than you do for your solo work?
Not necessarily, I listen to all kinds of music, etc so it’s all coming from the same pot!
You’ll be on the road with fellow Minnesotans Night Moves. How important has it been to have such a strong and supportive music scene in Minnesota?
It’s great. I don’t know what it would be like to live somewhere that wasn’t so full of talented musicians, so I consider myself lucky.