Northwest Music Month — Day 30: Spencer Carlson

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Ladies and gentlemen, hello and welcome to the 30th and final day of Northwest Music Month 2016, where we’ve featured a different local band or artist for your music discovering pleasure every day all throughout the month of June, to help ring in a summer of local music. Some days these artists were regional favorites that had already amassed respectable fan-bases, and other days they’ve been completely unknowns you’ve likely never heard of (for the “I heard about these really cool artists before they were famous!” crowd). We’ll be sad to see Northwest Music Month go, but this is just a taster for what we have coming down the pipeline, which we’ll be announcing later today. In the meantime, however, we’d like to use the final day of this segment to turn you onto one of our scene’s best, Spencer Carlson.

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Hailing from Seattle and its vast singer-songwriter movement, Spencer Carlson has been a local darling ever since he first broke onto the scene with his first album, the boldly-titled I’m Pretty Sure This World Has Cancer, released in the early days of 2011. As you may expect from an album of this title, the lyrics on this album don’t mince words; they aren’t afraid to get personal and cutting. Carlson is clearly influenced by local indie folk singing-songwriter greats like Elliott Smith, but unlike the more abstract and introspective songwriters that inspire him, Spencer has the virtue of directness at his disposal; his songs are easier to relate to, and easy to pick up and enjoy regardless of what mood you’re in.

In the time since releasing this record, he’s had a fairly eventful half-decade, releasing his most successful album to date, The Universe Is Screaming (which you can find physically in select record stores in Seattle) in 2014, and more recently, releasing his “Porcelain” single, whose main track and B-side were produced by Ken Stringfellow of The Posies, which is a pretty impressive cosign around these parts. On top of that, Carlson also had the opportunity to open for The Posies just last month. Spencer has also received praise from the likes of Marco Collins and our friends at Nada Mucho, who included him in their “41 Seattle Bands We’re Watching in 2015” list. It’s not hard to see why Carlson is so well-regarded around these parts, he’s obviously spent the several years he’s been on the map honing his craft.

For singer-songwriter aficionados, Spencer Carlson is one of those solo acts you have to know about. We can only hope his latest promising pair of tracks are a teaser towards a third full-length release before the year is over.

You can follow Spencer Carlson on Facebook, YouTube, and find him on Bandcamp at spencercarlson.bandcamp.com. Stream the “Porcelain” single below.

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