"THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE" WITH ELEANOR HAMMOND
Producing The Big Picture with Eleanor Hammond
Eleanor Hammond has been singing, playing guitar and piano, and songwriting since she was 11. She has been in at least two theatrical productions per year from ages 14-22. She often uses her theatrical background to incorporate storytelling into her lyrics. Her passion for composition became so strong that in 2019 she was inspired to write and produce a full-length feminist musical called Walls, the story of artist and founder of the Whitney Museum, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. She then produced her second musical Newsflash! in 2021 with co-writer Em Beihold. She is now releasing a string of singles. Eleanor’s dynamic and confident singing, demanding stage presence, and prophetic yet relatable lyrics make her a unique and trailblazing artist. Her songs vary in genre, keeping the listener on their toes, yet still feel cohesive and of the same creator, one that has been honing her sound for years, inspired by her influences and growing worldview.
Hi Eleanor! When you look at all the work you have made, what is the big picture for how you want your artistry to be seen?
Hello! This past year, I released a series of singles in a variety of genres from dance pop to folk to alternative pop. I hope to continue combining my sounds into a cohesive yet unique genre, one which I like to call “theatrical pop.” To me, theatrical pop combines expressive and dynamic singing, emotive and narrative-driven lyrics, and a production style that uses modern electronic elements (like synths and samples of today) and the instruments you’d see in a four-piece band or in the pit of an orchestra. I also want to continue to create music videos that act like short films — cinematic with short bits of dialogue interspersed in the music. Finally, I want to create a concept album of sorts that tells a cohesive, epic story throughout all the songs.
You challenge the status quo, how did you identify your purpose for the art you wanted to put out?
I was inspired by the raw vulnerability of women artists from the 90s like Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, and Alanis Morisette. I don’t always see the point in beating around the bush when it comes to a song’s meaning. I am a highly sensitive person so I feel everything completely and intensely. In today’s age, we often repress emotions or go through them alone. I want listeners to know that a wide range of emotions is the richest part of the human experience, and that life’s quests like finding love is a constant rollercoaster of a journey. I want my music to be a deep place of emotional catharsis and healing for the listener.
When you create your body of work, are there boxes you must check or does everything evolve as it should be and you allow for the checklist to not be completely checked?
I know I said I am trying to create a cohesive “sound” in my work. However, I also try to also use my unpredictability in my series of singles to an advantage. I like to keep the listener on their toes with every new piece of work I release. I don’t ever want all my music sounding the same. A true artist is one that constantly evolves. I think it's important for people to be able to categorize your music, but I am not going to let labels stifle my creativity by keeping me chained.
Could you give us some insight of what your checklist does look like if you have one?
I guess the main goal I always try to strive for is to tell a story that draws a listener in. There are a ton of amazing singers and musicians out there. But a true songwriter is able to capture an experience in a way that leaves the listener feeling like you’re speaking to them personally. Therefore, I am always going to write and perform songs with the audience in mind. If I can’t write a hooky melody or craft words in an evocative way that keeps the listener engaged, how are people going to care and remember my work?
Who are you paying homage to for your vision as an artist?
I am based in Los Angeles, and LA is a sprawling metropolis of different cultures with a wide amount of musical genres. There are several sources I pay homage to. My dad is a music manager and his favorite music is rock and pop of the 60s and 70s. Classic songwriters from that time like Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, and Laura Nyro were a few of my idols. And I aspire to write as well as Bob Dylan. I’d go to shows for the independent artists my dad managed since I was little, and they inevitably shaped me. My dad would give me honest feedback on my music from a young age, which helped cultivate my songwriting. My musical theater background also changed the way I write and perform music as well as characters and theatricality are always in my mind.
You are a visionary, please keep us in the loop of what your plans are for more performances and WHERE you are headed next for new fans to connect with you!
Thank you! I am performing a lot of shows in Los Angeles in December onward. My next show is at the Goldfish in Highland Park on December 20th. I am also playing at The Escondite January 3rd and Bar Lubitsch January 10th.
I plan to do another show in January at the Hotel Cafe to celebrate my next single and music video “Best of Tonight,” out December 30th. The song is a celebratory, 80s pop-inspired dance track about a budding relationship and enjoying a night of spontaneous fun together. It celebrates the end of another year and the seizing of life's fleeting moments.
Pre-save my next single “Best of Tonight”: https://li.sten.to/eleanorhammond
Information for all of my shows can be found at my website: www.eleanorhammond.com
Finally, I hope to release my debut album towards the end of 2023.
Links to Music: