We first met Cold Specks, the compelling, soulful-voiced Canadian singer now in her late 20’s who performs under the sobriquet Al Spx, at VFMF 2013. She was fresh off the release of her 2012 debut recording, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion, and a string of justifiable praise and accolades. Beyond the sheer power of her voice, she was the foremost proponent of doom soul – her phrase to describe the fusion of sparse folk and gothic gospel she’d crafted.
Now, four years and another release (Neuroplasticity) on from her intriguing debut, Spx has won international acclaim, collaborated with likes of Moby and Swans (among others), toured and performed at prestigious gigs such as Joni Mitchell’s 70th birthday at Massey Hall. A lot has changed. She’s added new complexity and fullness to her previous pared-down sound, describing it as more fully realized — but what has remained unaltered is her rare talent, depth of feeling, and her wholly unique vision. As raw, often dark, emotional and visceral as ever, Al Spx remains a singular and enthralling voice that we can’t wait to hear in the park again.