allison ponthier

As a wide-eyed misfit growing up in the Lone Star State, ALLISON PONTHIER built a world all her own to escape her strait-laced surroundings. The 24-year-old singer/songwriter spent her adolescence under the spell of eccentrics like Henry Selick, Vincent Price, and Elvira, whose warped sensibilities catalyzed her own creativity. At the age of 20, Ponthier fled the Bible belt for Brooklyn despite not knowing anyone in New York—an initially disastrous move that ultimately inspired the writing of her song “Cowboy,” a life-changing breakthrough on both a personal and artistic level. As she slowly found her footing in New York, Ponthier came to the realization that she could no longer deny her gay identity, a discovery that soon led to the writing of “Cowboy.” “I was having a hard time coming out to my family—or to anyone else for that matter—and I decided to write a song about what I was feeling, in a way I never had before,” she says. “I was sitting on my bed and the phrase ‘It took New York to make me a cowboy’ popped into my head, and I started singing it over and over. In its lucid confession of her deepest anxieties and self-doubt, “Cowboy” echoes Ponthier’s main mission as an artist. “A lot of my songs are about being uncomfortable in your own skin but getting to know yourself better, figuring out who you really are,” she says. “I mostly just try to make music that speaks to me, because I know there’s no way I’m the only person in the world who’s felt like this.” By bringing such a depth of attention to every aspect of her music, Ponthier has essentially created a more fully and extravagantly realized version of the world she retreated into as a kid back in Texas: a place where difference is endlessly celebrated, even as her songs push into painful terrain. “All these songs are stories from my life, and they’re all related to mental health, whether I’m talking about anxiety or identity or anything else I’ve gone through,” she says. “I hope it’s comforting to people to hear me talk about those things, especially other LGBTQ+ people. I hope that they see themselves in me, and that my fanbase can be a community where people can reach out and make friends and support each other and feel like they’re not alone.”