Nanaimo musician Spencer Hiemstra is striking out on his own with his first solo album.
Hiemstra, a member of local groups Maverick Cinema and Pacific Colours, is releasing his solo debut, Wildlife, on Dec. 11. He describes it as folky and acoustic but with horns, harmonies and keyboards giving the record a fuller sound. He said the album ponders the search for purpose.
“It’s about life,” he explained. “It kind of has an overarching theme about taking chances and going through changes and how scary life can be, hence the name Wildlife.”
The album has been in the works for more than a year. There were times when the project proceeded faster and slower but without the demands of working with a band Hiemstra was able to take his time and get it right.
“There was nobody relying on me to get it done,” he said. “It was like a passion project. Something that you want to do.”
Hiemstra said the songwriting on Wildlife is more contemplative than his other projects and his vocals are given more prominence. But while he enjoyed writing a solo album he’d still like to perform again with his bands.
“The process was a lot fun and it was very rewarding doing this record like this so I think that I will I look forward to sitting down and writing some more songs for the solo endeavour [and] I look forward to the future where we can play live shows again with bands and with big groups,” he said.
Hiemstra said writing and recording an album as a solo artist is “scarier” that doing it with a band.
“I think that putting your name on something feels personal and art can be scary that way,” he said. “But I think that it’s exciting at the same time.”
Wildlife will be available at www.spencerhiemstra.ca.