Spencer Burton has always been strongly connected to the natural world. An Ontario boy raised across the great expanse of Canada, Spencer carries with him an insatiable wanderlust and deep respect for nature.
After years of living mostly in the city between long touring stints, Spencer was feeling drained and uninspired. The constant hum of the city promoted a lifestyle that was entwined with work and networking, an energy that could easily push oneself into the ground. Coupled with the transient existence of a touring musician, Spencer felt the need to plant roots.
That pull led him to flee the city for a quieter existence in the country. In a small town, life moves a lot slower. The rural life soothed his soul, let him bask in subdued silence and fade out into the mist. Interacting with people became a choice, and the open road became one that he traveled alone. This simpler reality led him even closer to the earth and to the powerful freedom solitude brings.
Coyote, Spencer’s fifth studio album, is an ode to that power, but also a representation of the excitement and fear of solitude, and of art. Recorded in the comfort of friends on true analog equipment down in Nashville, the album is full of dualities, necessary stops and questions on the long journey of self-discovery that is life. “Every song I’ve ever written is a place to keep a memory,” says Spencer.
His musical trajectory has been multifaceted, from his punk rock roots as part of Attack in Black to the darker country-inspired sound of his two first solo albums under the name Grey Kingdom. In 2012, Spencer dropped Grey Kingdom in favour of his own name, moving towards a more natural country folk sensibility.
Spencer’s move to Niagara coincided with his becoming a father, a shift that has permanently shaped his life and his music. His most recent album, The Mountain Man, is a children’s album created with his family in mind. “Making art feels pretty selfish, in a way. Having kids makes you forget about yourself, makes you care about them above anything else. It’s this insane sense of perspective–these little sources of the most intense love and happiness, but also worry and fear.”
Coyote is self-reflective, a journey of finding oneself again through a soul-healing connection to nature and within the confines of being a parent. “I’m continually challenging myself to put out the best record I’ve ever made.”