BUDDING SINGER-SONGWRITER ALLISON PONTHIER IS HER OWN HARSHEST CRITIC. WATCH THE CAPTIVATING VIDEO HERE. PONTHIER JOINS LORD HURON’S LONG LOST TOUR FOR SELECT DATES
Today, 25-year-old Allison Ponthier has released Harshest Critic, the dreamy, scars-and-all eagerly anticipated follow up to her debut single Cowboy. Harshest Critic is available here via Interscope Records.
Written by Ponthier and collaborator Adam Melchor, Harshest Critic uses the relationship between performer and her audience as the lens through which the Texas native turned New York transplant can tackle her own insecurities. I’m terrified / Of the way I look when it’s through strangers’ eyes / Wish I had a way to peek inside their minds / But it wouldn’t fix the problems I see through mine, she sings over gauzy guitars and a steady drumbeat, mirroring the thumping of her heart as her thoughts unspool. The song further contextualizes Allison’s complicated journey from a young teen growing up in the bible belt and struggling with her sexuality. Harshest Critic is yet another feather in the cap of an artist on the verge of stardom.
I wrote ‘Harshest Critic’ around the time when labels were knocking on my door, and I kept wondering what it would feel like when other people were judging me and my work, says Ponthier of the song. It ended up being a song about how, when you’re an artist, everything feels like life or death. But in reality, it’s your happiness and who you are as a person that really matter. You might as well enjoy the ride, because no one’s ever going to be as hard on you as you are.
Directed by the visionary Jordan Bahat, who also helmed Ponthier’s Cowboy music video, the Harshest Critic video follows the singer-songwriter as she wears several hats. Tuning into a late-night show from a neon-soaked bedroom, she watches its host, performer, and cameraman all unpack their insecurities in front of a live studio audience. In every way an aesthetic fantasy, Harshest Critic peels back yet another layer to Ponthier’s full package, a fully realized vision playing out before our lucky eyes.
Harshest Critic follows I Lied, Ponthier’s recent heartbreakingly dreamy duet with Lord Huron, as well as her debut single Cowboy. The debut signaled the arrival of a fully baked new talent with the voice, the lyrics, and the vision of an artist twice her age. Cowboy, immediately captures and captivates as both a personal and professional coming-out story, Billboard says. A Phoebe Bridgers-style confessional wrapped up in the country-pop polish of Kacey Musgraves, declared The Guardian, while FADER called the track a bright slice of queer country-pop.
Ponthier joins Lord Huron on select dates for the Long Lost Tour which kicks off September 9th in Philadelphia and hits a variety of outdoor venues in New York City, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, Portland and other markets across the country. Check out the full itinerary here.