Last night, Wisconsin native Heidi Spencer treated fans to an acoustic set at the Living Room, featuring herself, her guitar and a couple of finger snaps. This was Spencer’s first show in New York in support of her album Under Streetlight Glow, released yesterday.
Spencer entered the stage sheepishly, her guitar slung over her shoulder as she squinted into the stage lights and smiled. She spoke about her last time at the Living Room five years ago, a performance which select members of the audience had attended, then went right into “Nebraska,” the first track off of her first album. A voice like Spencer’s is not something that can be faked. It comes from deep within and from years of transience. Longing to hear her music in movies, Spencer attended film school where she traveled the country to shoot short films while writing songs along the way. Her travels gave her a wide range of influences with which to work.
Spencer opened up in the small setting, giving some insight into the meaning of her works. For example, “Alibi,” the first song off of Under Streetlight Glow, is more about deciding to be lazy than about staying in with a loved one all day. “That’s your business,” said Spencer as she lifted her shoulders and tilted her head. “Do what you want.”
Spencer proved herself to be the ultimate trickster, as she confessed that only one song that night, “Moth Meets Spider,” was actually a little about love and heartbreak. It turned out that others, like “Go To France” and “Hibernation,” really had nothing to do with matters of the heart. Stopping to speak to the crowd between each song, Spencer revealed more and more of her personality, accented by dry wit and some shy giggling here and there. She was completely genuine, talking to the audience members as if she had known them for years. She closed the set with her finest work off of her most recent album, “Whiskey,” again, another song that’s just not about love.