Drinking from Puddles on 09/30/09
Haley Bonar performs Live on Drinking From Puddles !!
Haley Bonar is twenty-four years old, and already on her fourth album. Her new album, Big Star, is a watershed moment for her—a record like a Cormac McCarthy short story: simple on the intake, but revealing universal truths with a powerful emotional impact as it sinks in. In the words of filmmaker Ali Selim (Sweet Land) "Her voice is an invitation to amazing places."
Bonar was born near Winnipeg, raised in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and cut her teeth on the winters of Duluth, Minnesota. She presently calls St. Paul her home.
Her first album, Haley Bryn Bonar, was recorded when she was seventeen. It bore the signature of someone who was punk, but not really punk rock—she owned an acoustic guitar and created folk songs of her own style, yet liberally innocent of the concept of "anti-folk.” Her follow-up release, The Size of Planets, landed her on the radar. It was released on Low's Chairkicker's Union label, and inspired by the greats: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Loretta Lynn. Voted one of the best albums of 2003 by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, it received rave reviews from the likes of the Philadelphia City Paper, Minneapolis City Pages, Chicago Sun Times, Pulse Magazine, and Alternative Press.
At twenty-one, she self-released Lure the Fox, a gritty, lovely, and haunted album. It struck a fierce chord with old and new fans and earned the Best American Roots Recording in the 2006 Minnesota Music Awards, where she also received recognition as Best American Roots Artist. Minneapolis City Pages gave her the distinction of Artist of the Year, and the Star Tribune and Pulse placed the album on year end top ten lists. Lure the Fox was then picked up for re-release and national distribution by Minneapolis-based Afternoon Records. Meanwhile, she kept busy with other projects—she sang a song for the closing credits for the film "Sweet Land", toured with Andrew Bird, and contributed vocals to Bird's 2007 album Armchair Apocrypha.
Which brings us to 2008 and the completion of Bonar's new and most accomplished collection of songs, Big Star, an album loosely themed around the struggle of wanting something that elicits both dislike and desire—whether it be fame, success, or love. The album was recorded at the Terrarium in Minneapolis and mixed by noted engineer Tchad Blake (Tom Waits, The Bad Plus, Elvis Costello, Pearl Jam) who brings all of the subtle textures of the recordings to life. Haley played guitars, melotron and keyboards, and was joined by Chris Morrissey (Ben Kweller) on bass, Dave King (The Bad Plus) on drums, Bill Mike on electric guitar, and Luke Anderson on additional drums. The album will be released June 10, 2008.
Bonar has toured with Andrew Bird, Mason Jennings, Mary Lou Lord, Richard Buckner, and Charlie Parr—domestically and internationally—as well as shared stages with Neko Case, Pedro the Lion, the Arcade Fire, and Wanda Jackson.