From country to electronica

Rae Spoon’s new album I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets explores the devastating loss of a friend

Rae Spoon has done covers of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga songs, but is unsure who they will cover next. They say maybe George Michael.
Rae Spoon has done covers of Beyoncé and Lady Gaga songs, but is unsure who they will cover next. They say maybe George Michael.

Rae Spoon has six albums since the 2001 debut EP Honking at Minivans. Despite over a decade in the music industry Spoon is quite content with their slow incline in popularity.

“Things move faster than ever in the music business these days,” Spoon told the Journal via email. “I feel fortunate that I have been able to keep an audience interested in me for this long. I truly believe in the longevity of a grassroots following as opposed to a hype-driven career.”

Spoon’s latest release, I Can’t Keep All Of Our Secrets, tells the harrowing tale of the sudden death of a friend.

“I’ve always used writing music to process my emotions,” Spoon said. “This time it was a lot more specific than other albums, but I wanted to be clear about what it was about. I think it helps contextualize the material. It’s hard to be open about, but that’s how people get to know each other.”

Shockingly the painful subject matter is layered with sweet and soothing harmonies.

“I wanted the album to be somewhat uplifting even though it’s sad,” Spoon said. “If the music was all sad, I think it would be too much. The beats help carry the message.”

Spoon was first hailed a country crooner, but has now morphed into an electronica singer.

“Making pop/electronic music using the format of folk songs was a challenge that I started working on four years ago,” Spoon said. “I was living in Germany and I wanted to see how I could incorporate the techno I was hearing everywhere into what I was already doing.”

This year, Spoon plans to release a short-story collection and documentary about coming out as transgendered in high school.

“I have a book of short stories inspired by my childhood in Alberta being published by Arsenal Pulp Press in September,” Spoon said. “The documentary/musical is still a work in progress by director Chelsea McMullan. It should come out in a year or so.”

In a Jan. 3 post on Spoon’s tumblr account, the singer-songwriter declared a preference to be referred to with the pronoun “they.” As a transgendered artist, who officially changed their name at 19 years old, Spoon weighed in on the recent controversy in the American Girl Scouts. Earlier this month, a 14-year-old girl launched a boycott campaign to protest the organization’s decision to allow transgendered children to join troops in Colorado.

“The child who is demanding the boycott has a lot of time to rethink her opinion,” Spoon said. “I was raised in a family that was conservative like that and found my way out.

“However, there are so many trans children who need people to speak out against this type of thing. I’m glad people are being so vocal about trans acceptance in the Girl Scouts. The message will get to ones who need it the most. Mass media creeps into even the most conservative homes.”

Rae Spoon plays the Artel tonight. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and the show starts at 9 p.m. Tickets are $10.

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