Pop-Culture | Posted by Julie Z on 08/21/2011
Support Women Artists Sunday: Haley Bonar
Haley Bonar (born 1983, Brandon, Manitoba) is an American alternative country singer-songwriter who hails from South Dakota. She has lived in Duluth and St. Paul, Minnesota. In July 2009, she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she currently resides. She plays guitar and keyboards and typically is backed sparingly, in some instances by only a drummer.
In 2003 Bonar’s album . . . The Size of Planets (Chairkicker’s Union) received favorable reviews in the Minneapolis press. The album spawned the single “Am I Allowed,” which was played on college radio stations.
In 2006 she released the album Lure the Fox,’, originally on Mary Ellen Recordings, whose owner, Mary Lewis, decided to help Bonar pay to record the album at Pachyderm Studio after reading a Star Tribune article about her in 2005. Dave King of Happy Apple and The Bad Plus plays drums, Chris Morrissey plays bass, and the album features Low’s Alan Sparhawk on the track “Give it Up.” Also on that track is David Frankenfeld, Bonar’s former drummer, who played on The Size of Planets. One year after Lure the Fox was recorded, Bonar signed with local label Afternoon Records, who then released the album nationally in October 2006.
Lure the Fox earned Bonar two Minnesota Music Awards, one for Best American Roots recording, and another for Best American Roots artist. The album also topped many Twin Cities year-end favorite lists, including those of the Star Tribune, City Pages, The Onion, and Pulse magazine. Bonar was also featured on the cover of Metro magazine.
Big Star, released in June 2008 on Afternoon Records, gained Bonar a broader audience with songs like “Big Star,” “Green Eyed Boy,” and “Arms of Harm,” which was featured on the credits for an episode of HBO’s The United States of Tara. The songs “Queen of Everything,” “Big Star,” and “Something Great” were also featured on MTV’s show Teen Moms in 2009/2010.
Bonar is featured on the 2007 Andrew Bird record Armchair Apocrypha and has frequently shared the stage with Bird over the past five years. She sang on the feature song “Quiet Breathing” from the independent film Sweet Land, directed by fellow Minnesotan Ali Selim.
In 2009, Bonar’s move from Minneapolis to Portland, Oregon was noted by City Pages. She is currently working on a new album, which will be released in 2011.
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