There's always something special about seeing an artist's debut LP, with the best debuts giving the listener a window into who they are and where they draw their influences as an artist. This has never been truer than with San Francisco resident Spencer Brown whose debut album Illusion of Perfection released today on Above & Beyond's acclaimed Anjunabeats label. Speaking of his album and the decision not to release any singles from the album ahead of time, Spencer Brown said, "Think of it as a polished, mixed 'single body of work' with one distinct sound rather than a collection of 'singles.' " If you love specific tracks don't worry though, full length tracks will be released at a later date in a series of EPs.
You can listen to the album as a continuous mix below:
Being a San Francisco resident myself, I can really appreciate the amount of the city and nightlife that has been poured into every facet of this album. Spencer Brown edges off the album with "The Gardens," a slow rising dip into the Anjuna sound, setting the tone for the rest of the album. Next comes "I'll Never," a track I was lucky enough to see Above & Beyond debut during their warm-up set live at the Gorge during ABGT250. "Airplane Tekno" lives up to its name with a techier percussion and as Spencer Brown let it be known that 10% of the album was actually made on airplanes. The track also includes a beautiful jazz piano interlude by none other than Roderick Demmings Jr. The album picks up with "Arps and Crafts," showcasing the dark, techier side of progressive house we seen since ABGT250, before transitioning into "Will I Ever Find Love," what has been called Spencer Brown's most melodic production to date.
In "Nightwalk" I can feel the essence of San Francisco streets at night and the electricity. The mix takes a turn upward with "J2," featuring Spencer's trademark sound. Featuring his longtime friend Liam Hathaway, "Audio" takes its name from the club home for all Anjuna artists in San Francisco and Spencer's personal club. Within the track I can feel the intimacy of the club and all of the nights spent there on its dancefloor. With "waves.wav," Spencer brings Wilt Claybourne and Jules to the album for a track that seems rooted in exhilaration and nostalgia.
With the next two tracks, Spencer names that after iconic San Francisco landmarks Hippie Hill in Golden Gate Park and the concert venue Bill Graham. With "Hippie Hill," Spencer encapsulates the pounding feet of the Bay to Breakers runners and revelers during San Francisco most iconic pre-summer event every third weekend of May. All throughout "Bill Graham," meant to harness debut at the venue, I can feel the wonder and excitement of stepping into the music hall for the first time and being blown away by the production and people.
Closing out the mix, Spencer Brown teams up with Anjuna staple ALPHA 9 aka Arty for "No Going Back," an aptly named Anjunabeats anthem for an artist whose career is only just beginning.
This is definitely one album you cannot miss. Pick it up today and catch Spencer Brown at one of his tour dates below.
Spencer Brown Tour Dates
MAY 4 – SOUNDCHECK – WASHINGTON
MAY 5 – REV – MINNEAPOLIS
MAY 11 – CELEBRITIES – VANCOUVER
MAY 12 – ORA – SEATTLE
MAY 18 – 45 EAST – PORTLAND
MAY 19 – EDC – LAS VEGAS
MAY 26 – STEELYARD – LONDON
MAY 26 – BRIXTON ACADEMY – LONDON
JUNE 1 – GRASSHOPPER – DETROIT
JUNE 2 – RYSE – ST LOUIS
JUNE 22 – SOUNDBAR – CHICAGO
JUNE 23 – DREAMS FESTIVAL – TORONTO
JULY 6 – KINGDOM – AUSTIN
JULY 13 – LIZARD LOUNGE – DALLAS
JULY 20 – TOMORROWLAND – BELGIUM
AUGUST 3 – SQL – MIAMI
AUGUST 4 – GRAVITY – HOUSTON
AUGUST 10 – ILE SONIQ – MONTREAL
AUGUST 25 – CREAMFIELDS – UK
AUGUST 31 – THE CHURCH – DENVER
SEPTEMBER 2 – ELECTRIC ZOO – NEW YORK