ELEANOR HAMMOND'S HEALING MUSIC
Eleanor 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.
How are you being bold as this year wraps in your music?
I am releasing a single on December 30th called “Best of Tonight” (pre-save here: https://li.sten.to/eleanorhammond). It’s an 80s pop inspired dance track celebrating new love connections and seizing the night. Releasing any music during the holidays is usually a big faux pas in the music industry. But I couldn’t NOT release it during this time because it really is a vibrant song of celebration, glitter, and closure.
How are you leaving off this year and what are your hopes for the future of your music?
I am leaving this year with a new perspective. I graduated college in December of 2021, and I used to feel super anxious that I my career wasn’t immediately exploding and my music wasn’t going crazy viral. However, after much contemplation, I realized being an artist for the long haul allows for much less mental pressure, and much more space for growth and creative expression. I have become the tortoise and not the hare, and it is a much more satisfying way to live each day. Virality is not important to me any more. Instead, making meaningful connections and art, no matter how long it takes, are what I prioritize. I hope I continue to hone my unique sound and brand next year, and release a lot more music.
Are you planning extensively or are you allowing your music tide to take you on its own?
I think both. I already have my first single of 2023 ready to go, and I also want to release a debut EP in the spring. However, that all could change any moment. I think having flexibility and spontaneity combined with an organized plan and intentions is the recipe for success as an artist.
As you get to know yourself better musically, what is your biggest lesson learned this year?
I learned that I don’t need to be a virtuoso in every aspect of music, and that I should play to my strengths. I pride myself on my lyric writing abilities as well as my skill in composing evocative melodies. My guitarist, Leo, is a Lindsey Buckingham level of good. And I have been playing since I was 12, and I am a very decent guitarist and pianist. However, I realized Leo can be the virtuoso guitarist and I don’t have to be. When we combine our talents, we are even better than when we are individuals. Setting down my ego in being “the best” at everything is not only helpful to my art, but liberating.
Gaining the success you are seeing, tell us what has been the proudest moment for you so far?
My proudest moment was playing at Hotel Cafe’s Writer’s Block in August. The sound at that iconic Hollywood venue is top-notch. It was a joy getting to perform on that stage alongside other great singer-songwriters, and performing for an audience who I felt was there to really absorb my music.
Give us your social media to link our audience to becoming fast fans!
Links to Music:
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
As you beat to your own drum, tell our audience what has helped you the most in finding your own beat for your career?
Honing my sound and what I want audiences to take away is what has helped me most:
Growing up, 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.
I call my genre “theatrical pop.” To me, theatrical pop combines expressive and dynamic singing, emotive and narrative-driven lyrics, and a sound 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.
Additionally, I use genres in dynamic ways, always keeping the listener on their toes: This past year, I released a series of singles in a variety of styles from dance pop to folk to alternative pop. I also want to continue to create music videos that act like short films — cinematic with short bits of dialogue interspersed in the music. I love when albums tell a cohesive, epic story throughout all the songs.
I want my music to be a deep place of emotional catharsis and healing for the listener. I want my audiences to feel that it is okay to experience a wide range of emotions, and to love the rollercoaster of life fully. I think my next single "Best of Tonight" (coming out Dec 30; https://li.sten.to/eleanorhammond) really achieves this well. The song celebrates the mixed bag of feelings that comes with a new romantic connection: scared of the unknown, like it could end sadly, but not staying there mentally and instead making the most of the happy moments anyway.
Thank you for this interview Eleanor!