Tracy Spuehler is one of the best singer/songwriters currently playing the folk/pop trenches.
Tracy Spuehler: Press
Tracy Spuehler's tunes charmed their way into the public's ear on KCRW-FM and beyond, with bursts of wit and sweetness tempered by dollops of sobering reality.
Her songs are poetic and straightforward, yet with a satisfying depth to the lyrics.
...elements of Juliana Hatfield's little-girl lilt, Aimee Mann's confessional pop and Liz Phair's indie-rock feistiness. But this native Angeleno puts so much of herself into her songs that her music winds up charmingly fresh and all her own.
sweet, sensitive songs
"You're like a seasoning or a spice that's baked its way into my life," Tracy Spuehler confides on "All the Way," a whistle-driven tune from her third album, You're My Star. The local singer-guitarist bakes her way into our lives with her charming pop...
Yet another collection of smart and infectious songs.
These songs are clearly so personal, yet universal....I am already eagerly anticipating the next. You should be too.
Anyone fortunate enough to stumble upon the open book of an open heart that is "six three one”….Yet one more amazing debut that, when you finish with it the first time, makes you feel as if you know its maker intimately...she sounds like a hundred women I've known, and one in a million.
A singer-songwriter with roots in a seven-year tenure as a violinist with folk/rock duo Pimentos for Gus, she plays the role of modern everywoman well, writing simply but not inelegantly with a voice steeped in homespun charm and informal grace.
For most folks, writing the perfect two or three minute pop song is a very difficult (if not impossible) task. But Spuehler makes it sound as simple as peach pie. On this album, she tosses off twelve super sweet infectious tunes...and they all come across sounding perfectly tweaked and effortless. When you stop to think about how many sarcastic, negative people there are in the world...someone as genuinely sincere and talented as Tracy Spuehler comes across like a cool fresh splash of water in the face. To put it more simply, You're My Star is a truly beautiful album full of super catchy sparkling pop.
Listening to the sophomore album from this L.A.-based singer-songwriter is like seeing the smart girl at school take off her glasses, unwrap her pigtails and turn into a beautiful swan.
Unexpectedly original for the girl-with-guitar genre, Spuehler has some twentieth century Sheryl Crow and Liz Phair in her.
I don't know how Spuehler does it but she makes these lines - "You better be safe or you're gonna be sorry" - sound like a pop symphony with Brian Wilson smiling in the front row.
"It's the Sound" captures the same sharp and sweet dynamic and proves that her first outing was no act of chance. Simple images emerge from Spuehler's intimate lyrics, yet they paint a bigger picture when all the elements are there....The organic carefree pop of It's the Sound - once again helmed by producer/multi-instrumentalist Liam Davis - is simply lovable.
It takes a real confidence to make music this beautifully simple. Her unaffected voice. Her direct melodies. Her unhidden personality. It's the antidote to your crazy life. It's a sunflower in the junkyard. It's pop meditation. Nursery rhymes to calm the frazzled soul. If you liked Aimee Mann's music in Magnolia, you need to have this album.
Tracy Spuehler's music is another of those gems I've found while casually surfing the Internet on some idle Monday evening. I was initially drawn to a photo of her with her guitar. Petite, pretty and wearing librarian-styled glasses, I originally thought she was Lisa Loeb. But after listening to her music, I quickly realized she wasn't. A native to the Los Angeles area, Spuehler spent several years as a violinist in the band, Pimentos For Gus. After the group disbanded in 1996, Spuehler moved back to Los Angeles from Minneapolis and took care of her ill mother. It was after her mother's death a couple of years later that Spuehler began to write songs and ultimately, embarked on a solo career. She would see the release of her debut album, six three one, in 2001. six three one served as the first step to what appears to be a strong and promising career in the world of music for Spuehler, as she has a particular knack for writing remarkable songs about family, lost loves, and life's ups and downs. Highly reviewed by local colleges and receiving airwave endorsement by Los Angeles' KCRW, Spuehler quickly found praise for her music. Her song "Where Do We Go?," a sturdy and memorable sing-a-long found itself used in a commercial for Nissan. Later it was used in the television shows, What About Brian? and Showtime's Weeds. In 2004, Spuehler released her sophomore album, Itâ€™s The Sound, furthering the musical style that was quickly being attributed to her. Standouts include "At The Frank Black Show," "Tell Me That" and the title track. Spuehler's latest is this year's "You're My Star," yet another strong release that finds the songwriter boasting yet another collection of smart and infectious songs. "Holding Out For Love" is an extremely addicting track with a chorus you can't help but sing along to. "Unforgettable," the album's groovy synthesized rocker, is as the lyrics goes, "pure magic." Songs like the engaging "Long Way From Here,: show off Spuehler's softer side, but never dull down the momentum of the album's whole. Simply put, You're My Star sparkles. Musically, Spuehler is most often compared to critical darlings like Aimee Mann, Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield and other strong, female songwriters who emerged in the early nineties. But unlike them, Spuehler has somehow remained under the radar, despite many of her commercial successes. The beauty with Spuehler is how remarkably simple her songs sound. There is a straightforward sincerity to them that is completely refreshing in a business full of over-production and lyrical overflow. Her lyrics are sharp and sugarless. Her songs never seem too long or too short. And her albums sound better and better after every listen.
When we first considered the facts about young Tracy Spuehler ...we fully expected "It's the Sound" to be one of those discs that we just wouldn't like. Not only has one of her songs been used in a commercial for Nissan / Altima (barf!) ...but she also has a day job as a producer for slop/crap outlets like MTV, VH1, and CMT (double barf!) . Well the proof is in the grooves, so they say...and despite her seemingly overtly commercial credentials...Tracy Spuehler is actually a credible and entertaining singer/songwriter with real integrity. And her music is surprisingly sincere. Instead of predictable inane dribble...the tunes on It's the Sound are thoughtful and sensitive...and they feature wonderfully addictive melodies that show off Spuehler's super smooth voice. This is a very cohesive collection of tunes from start to finish. Tracy covers human topics in her lyrics...while never trying too hard to get her point across. The album is well-recorded...but not overtly slick. Overdubs are used sparingly...allowing the listener to focus on the songs themselves. Superb pop numbers include "It's the Sound," "Time," "Tell Me That," and "Broken Melody." Tracy has a sound and style that is not unlike Suzanne Vega ...while at the same time having a sound and vision that are truly her own.
You probably know LA singer-songwriter Tracy Spuehler from her relentlessly hummable song, "Where Do We Go?", that was used in the Nissan ad. You probably don't know that New Times wrote that her music has "elements of Juliana Hatfield's little-girl lilt, Aimee Mann's confessional pop and Liz Phair's indie-rock feistiness" while still being "charmingly fresh and all her own". As far as those comparisons go, she's earthier than Hatfield (no Blake references here), less calmly whiny than Mann can be, and not as clear in her various commonplace dysfunctions as Phair. At least to someone who's something of a soft touch for Hatfield, wishes Mann would stop making observations and start rockin', and thinks Phair is the only one among the three who might be a major artist. And, yes, I can tell Spuehler apart from any of her predecessors in a blind test (Spuehler's slow ones are like Mann without the Berklee-trained melodies but her fast ones, thankfully, have more urgency)...the pairing of good melodies to good lyrics is unlikely to be coincidental.