Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Hallie Spoor breaks “New Ground” last month — with an EP release party and live performance at Rockwood Music Hall
by Vivian Bossieux-Skinner for RFB
Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Hallie Spoor captivated Rockwood Music Hall on January 19th with her voice, musicianship and storytelling, at the release party/live performance for her new EP, New Ground. Spoor, who played guitar and piano, was backed for this performance by a full band: Max McEwen on drums, Noah Evan Wilson on bass, Lily Desmond on violin and Elisa Winter on cello — along with backup singers Becca Fox and Kristen Estelle. One of the many other standouts in the set was the song “Fine” (a single released November 2019 ahead of the EP), which broached the territory of love and breakups in a heart-wrenchingly relatable way, and where Fox and Estelle beautifully harmonized with Spoor to build the song’s energy.
Another of my favorite tracks of Spoor’s is “City Angels,” which is about an experience she had on the New York City subway. I had the opportunity to interview her on the January 12th episode of my RFB show “Art Corner,” where she told me the song’s backstory. (Jump to 49:40 in my full interview with Hallie here.) “It’s about the moments in the city, and mostly the people that bring you back up and bring you back to life when you’re having a rough day,” she says, adding: ”I had that experience on the subway one day when I was just having a horrible day and was carrying so much stuff, and this woman just offered to carry the stuff through the turnstile for me — she was just a city angel, and so that’s what this song is about.”
Part of what draws me to Spoor’s music is the empathy and frankness with which she writes about life and common situations. She invites the listener into the world through her eyes, and her music brings a lightness and accessibility to moments that probably affect every listener — nostalgia, hope, excitement and possibility — offering a validating outlet for emotions and experiences, such as someone moving their life to a new city. You can catch Hallie Spoor at Sofar Sounds on March 13 (keep checking that link for updates), on tour later this year, or right now on Spotify. For more info, visit Spoor’s website or Instagram.