Katie Spencer is a songwriter from Hull inspired by the people and places of the Yorkshire countryside. Drawing on influences such as John Martyn, Roy Harper and Laura Marling, Spencer creates modern folk music which owes as much to East Riding as it does to the American greats, with her striking vocals and adept songwriting backed by evocative and complex acoustic guitar. Indeed, recent demo ‘Warehouse One’ boasts a formidable atmosphere, mining the same ground as WTD-favs Wes Tirey and Sarah Louise to create a Western soundscape of which Ry Cooder would be proud.
Such influences and ideas are explored in a ‘The Same Water’, a short documentary based around Katie Spencer’s work. The film, which originally premiered at Kardomah94 in Hull, began as a series of recordings taken from a live session for local charity, The Warren. Intrigued by the atmosphere and inherent flow of the songs, director Patrick Mateer decided to expand the videos into a short film centering on Spencer’s creative process and personality. As Mateer explains:
“I was inspired by Katie’s music – and at first, the song “Drinking The Same Water” in particular – I wanted to look at how I could visually reflect the themes and emotions of the songs. The heartbeat of the film is Katie’s storytelling through her lyrics and I used these, along with the interview footage we filmed, to weave a narrative amongst the songs that tells us who Katie is and why she makes the music she does.”
We’re delighted to share the film for the first time online. With songs interspersed with intimate and insightful interview sequences, as well as lovely scenic shots of Hull and East Yorkshire, it makes for a pretty inspiring listen. In a world where so called millennials are labelled vapid and superficial, young artists don’t often get the opportunity to reflect on their ideas and aims, and it’s a testament to Mateer and Spencer herself that ‘The Same Water’ allows the latter and disproves the former.
The film was commissioned by Warren Records who are a PRS For Music Foundation Talent Development Parter, and the music is being released as an EP, aptly titled Live Soundtrack to a Short Film, which you can get on CD/digital via the Katie Spencer Bandcamp page. In addition, Spencer is currently working on her debut album alongside Brian Young, featuring Ted McKenna, Foss Paterson and Danny Thompson, so be sure to keep an eye on her website for further news, and be sure to listen to more of her music via Soundcloud. You can find out more about Patrick Mateer via his website.
Photograph by Patrick Mateer