Pop music surrounds us, but how often do we really listen to what we’re hearing? Switched on Pop is the podcast that pulls back the curtain on pop music. Each episode, join musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding as they reveal the secret formulas that make pop songs so infectious. By figuring out how pop hits work their magic, you’ll fall in love with songs you didn’t even know you liked.
Allison Ponthier knows that the hardest part of making anything is getting started.
For the New York based Texan singer/songwriter, “starting the song is so difficult”. When she was young she “always wanted to write songs”, fanatically scribbled rhymes in a diary. But she gave it up as an adolescent.
The prevailing narratives of natural talent, artistic genius and spontaneous inspiration nearly put the brakes on her songwriting aspirations — she didn’t pick up songwriting until nineteen: “it just took me that long to build the confidence”.
Yet with a short stint in jazz school, a scholarly approach to YouTube song tutorials, and consistent writing practice, in seven short years, twenty-six year old Ponthier has crafted a songwriting method that reliably turns the mundane into the profound.
Her 2021 EP “Faking My Own Death” shows the hand of a seasoned artist. Ponthier’s lyrics mine her personal life for unexpected twists and turns “it took New York to make me a cowboy”. And she has the backing of songwriting heavy weights. Recent collaborators include Lord Huron, Semisonic’s Dan Wilson and Ethan Gruska (whose productions with Phoebe Bridgers soundtracked the pandemic).
Ponthier recently opened her personal songwriting notebook for Switched On Pop: “no one looks at this journal by the way” she told us. The case study she shared on her single “Autopilot” is a masterclass for anyone looking to break through creative barriers.
[audio audio="https://dcs.megaphone.fm/VMP8645143043.mp3" title="Jumpstarting the creative process with Allison Ponthier" descr=""]