Milwaukee's Heidi Spencer plays at The Pabst Theater tonight, opening for Iron & Wine. Expect to hear music from her upcoming Bella Union/Yep Roc CD, "Under Streetlight Glow."
Spencer signed with the U.K.-based Bella Union label -- home to Milwaukee ex-pat Stephanie Dosen, The Acorn, The Low Anthem, Andrew Bird, Beach House, Midlake, Radiohead's Philip Selway, Fleet Foxes and others -- earlier this year and played a Bella Union showcase at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, in March.
Spencer traveled to England to play a string of dates in September, with backing from Dosen and label boss Simon Raymonde (Cocteau Twins).
Spencer's label debut is due out in early 2011, according to the Bella Union Web site, and will be released in the U.S. via Bella Union's distribution deal with Yep Roc.
"Under Streetlght Glow" has 10 songs and runs just under 38 minutes long.
"Alibi" is a lazy, rootsy opener that showcases Spencer's emotive vocals. A darker, more mysterious vibe kicks in with the second -- and title -- track with its impassioned voice and atmospheric whistling.
The mood continues through "Moth Met Spider, " "Go to France" and "Hibernation," which has what may be the the record's most alluring vocal performance.
"Tried and True" and "Whiskey" close out "Under Streetlight Glow" with the same easy, melodic folk pop of "Alibi."
Spencer has crafted an intimate record with a dusky, twilight feel that ought to propel her toward wider success.
Seeing her at The Pabst may well become a regular event.
Tonight's show starts at 8 and costs $25. Photographer Deone Jahnke will shoot the performance for OnMilwaukee.com and we'll post some photos tomorrow.
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