The first time I saw Haley Bonar in concert, she and her band were performing at the base of a 54-foot Doritos vending machine — a dehumanizing corporate venue of the variety that occasionally surfaces at SXSW. Somehow, though, her wry, spiky spark found a way to shine through.
A few years later, we found a slightly cozier spot for Bonar to perform three new songs, all drawn from the Minnesotan's terrific new album Impossible Dream. Along the way, she achieves an impressive range of sounds and storytelling, taking a little more than 10 minutes to pack in a melancholy look at the past's inescapability ("Hometown"), a brooding slow-burn about temptation and trust ("Jealous Girls"), and a stomping rager about doomed love ("Called You Queen"). All three achieve a nifty balance, sounding just stripped-down enough to suit the space, yet still immaculately polished at every turn.
- "Jealous Girls"
- "Called You Queen"
Producers: Stephen Thompson, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Niki Walker, CJ Riculan, Ryan Kellman; Production Assistant: Bronson Arcuri; Photo: Claire Harbage/NPR.
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