Blissful and tragic happenings are sifted through each day to bring community members the most vital information on the news. Musician Spencer Schauer, now 21, recalls when he was 16, viewing a news piece which became the first time he felt the need to write about something, and transform that writing to song.
“I remember looking on the news all the time and I would see things about people committing suicide – it was really sad. A lot of the time it was people in their teens, a little younger than me, that would decide to end their life. It made me think ‘I wonder if I could write a song that would speak on that?’ to help people to maybe get out of that place and decide that life is worth living.”
The musician had picked up guitar around nine years old. He was fascination with the game guitar hero and inspired from his father who played. Yet he had grasped the art of performance and music at an even younger age. His mother recalls times when four year old Spencer sang to a nursery rhyme cassette tape. (Yep, cassette tapes were a thing in his childhood, believe it or not.) He’d play that tape on repeat, singing his little toddler heart out. His mother also opened his eyes to the world of writing through her poetry.
Now, he’s released his first album after a few years of reflecting on emotions throughout pivotal points in life. The album titled ‘Go’ is structured in a way that is best listened to from beginning to end. It follows a story of a relationship, however the listeners are encouraged to interpret it as they like. Yet, Spencer wants audiences to be able to understand what he was going through, via emotions, not storytelling.
‘Go’ starts off with a spoken word track which causes the listener to think about their purpose here through various questions. It sets up the listener for the entire album which incorporates philosophical thoughts into each song. Spencer envisions it as a moment, “looking up into the night sky and wondering what are you here for.”
I find myself reflecting on these questions throughout the album and start to conjure up my own responses to them. This spoken word track really encourages me to dissect the rest of the songs. As I listen I want to see how they fit with the questions I’m being asked about life purpose.
Onward from the spoken word, I’m greeted with the song ‘Rheotorical’. It starts with a warm and welcoming guitar part and leads me into more philosophical pondering. The tune is chill with a bit of pop during the chorus as it reels me in with a catchy ‘whooaa ohh’. I’d say it is one of my favorite songs on the album because of how pleasant it is to listen to, even as I type this, and it makes me think (I enjoy pondering life on a day to day basis and I just generally think a lot). Spencer describes ‘Rheotorical’ as a series of questions, “Feeding more into the idea of, ‘How can I find purpose? Where is it? Is there anybody that will help me find it?”
As I listen, I can’t help but try and find the moments which speak to a relationship. As Spencer and I chatted about the album, a huge factor in finding your purpose comes into light. “Part of the way you find purpose in life is figuring out what love means to you – to me love means finding somebody who will make you smile everyday – there is always some reason why you can be happy to see this person. You can always come back and be happy,” says Spencer. The song ‘Hello Love’ speaks to this perfectly. The cheery beat even brings a smile to my face.
After this track, the rest of the album shows a darker side of love and relationships. I know I’ve seen that side before as I’m sure many of you have as well. It can be hard to get back into the cheery part of relationship and realize when you should end it all together. The tone in the following songs evoke a gloomy feeling, especially ‘What’s Left?’
Leaving the relationship aspect behind, Spencer’s song called ‘The Song About’ gives listeners a chance to come up with their own idea of what it means. It’s hard to peg a certain feeling or meaning to it. “The reason why it’s called that is it plays with the idea that you can have a song about anything that the original artist and writer intended it to be about. But the listener is always going to come up with their own idea.” Spencer expresses.
I’ve never heard an album quite like this, which encourages the listener to create their own meanings to each song and answer questions as they’re listening. ‘Go’ makes the perfect album for all those times I find myself wondering what I’m doing with my life. (Or am I the only one that has those spurts of thoughts?) Sticking with this concept the very last song called ‘The End’ reflects the questions from the beginning and moments throughout the album. He created a call and response which leaves me intrigued.
“The only thing you know that’s real is you are experiencing this moment.”
Throughout the album Spencer both sings and plays the guitar, but is accompanied by a few other local musicians. Finding the perfect people to work with is a huge deal, especially for a project like this, which took multiple years. The talented Zach Brawford blew him away with his impressive drumming experience and Evan Middlesworth came to the project with tons of input and preparation for Bass parts. Justin Anderson recorded, mixed and edited the whole album. This power team created something beautiful and mysterious for all to hear.
Anyone looking for some tunes to relax, write to, go for a stroll and you know think about the deep meaning of life should listen to the album ‘Go’. You can find it on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, you name it! If you wana book this rad dude for a show, send him a message on his Facebook Page.