Al Spx was a voice without a face for me until the first notes of this piece. Even as I rolled up to the northern tip of McCarren Park to see her band, manager and rep all taking shelter beneath a coffee shop awning as the sky threatened the terrible downpour to come, she was nowhere to be found. When I finally meet her, she is spare with words, direct, an enemy of small talk. Her mystery still secure, we set out to work immediately, and work furiously to beat the rain. A family picnic fuses seamlessly with our impromptu concert, and we finish one right before the sky falls.
Taking shelter in a nearby household, we decend on the darkest, dankest corner of a warm and welcoming loft so that the ominous sound of Cold Specks can at once warm and chill the space, filling it to the rafters with vibrations that haunt as they comfort, question as they resolve.
I would have stayed to capture an album’s worth of material if there was time. Al’s voice is an incredible gift to behold in person, even her beautiful release that is captivating so many is no substitute. If this woman is travelling close to you, you do yourself great disservice if you miss her. This final moment, without filler or preamble, should serve as a not-so-gentle prodding towards the serene spectre that awaits you.