Today’s Song: Spencer Thomas Smith Lives in the Rhythm of Life in His “Little Apartment”

Spencer Thomas Smith © 2023
Spencer Thomas Smith © 2023
Singer/songwriter Spencer Thomas Smith dwells in the sweet solace of the familiar in his achingly beautiful “Little Apartment,” a heavy and heartfelt folk song full of love, vulnerability, and longing.
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“Little Apartment” – Spencer Thomas Smith

There’s a weight about Spencer Thomas Smith’s first song of the year that lingers long after the music is finished.

It’s the familiar ache of the everyday – the ebb and flow of life as we know it. Each day has its own character, to be sure, but there’s a cadence and a rhythm to our lives; some call them the “doldrums” – and for good reason – but they can be just as comforting as well. Smith dwells in the sweet solace of the familiar in his achingly beautiful “Little Apartment,” a heavy and heartfelt folk song full of love, vulnerability, and longing.

This music is what it feels like to find your anchor and cling to it with all your strength and all your might.

Little Apartment - Spencer Thomas Smith
Little Apartment – Spencer Thomas Smith
Hang your feet off the counter
and watch the water bowl

As you pick your nails and
think about moving to a new house

And making new friends
All I can ever give you
Is something you can only see inside
So take your time, the water’s fine
Shake the blues off one by one
I will be here when you wake up

Released February 1, 2023, “Little Apartment” is a gut-wrenching, tear-jerking outpouring of raw, unabridged sincerity. Following last October’ standalone double single “Satellites” / “Happy,” Smith’s first release of the new year finds him donning the hat of the forlorn country singer – a stereotype, to be sure, but one that has stood the test of time for good reason. Melancholy acoustic guitar strums and a mournful pedal steel guitar accompany Smith’s hushed voice as he spills his soul in a tender, gentle eruption of his innermost thoughts and feelings.

“I wrote “Little Apartment” last winter or spring; time has blurred together more than I’d wish it did,” the Tennessee raised, North Carolina based singer/songwriter tells Atwood Magazine. “My partner and I were preparing to move to a new city, again, and it came out of the dread of missing our friends that we had made, the little apartment we lived in, the neighborhood we had grown to love in such a short amount of time, and the feeling that we didn’t have the means or energy to make a whole new life again someplace new. Feeling the existentialism of the unknown, but looking forward to the possibility of maybe settling for a change. Overall this song is about being with the people that you love and living in the rhythm of life even if it’s not going anywhere in particular, and shaking off the blues.”

Katie i’ve been wondering
What are we supposed to do next year
when we finally can pay our bills

And you’ll be out of school
For the first time in over twenty years
And you’ll be my best friend
and we’ll still live in our little apartment
Shake your blues off one by one
I will be here when you wake up
Spencer Thomas Smith © 2023
Spencer Thomas Smith © 2023

This a song about moving forward even if life goes nowhere in particular. ‘Just shake your blues off one by one’ and be with the people that you love; ‘I will be here when you wake up.’

“Little Apartment” is melancholic bliss.

Out of his own sadness, Smith strikes musical gold with an arrangement that is simple, stirring, and utterly seductive.

“In the studio, Bennett Littlejohn (producer/mixer/pedal steel/bass) and I were conscious of space with this song as well as the other songs on my upcoming album “Gas Station Blue.” Letting the lyrics and mood breathe. One way we achieved this is by capturing one really good performance of me singing and playing, then building the mood outward from there. Anything that impeded on the main performance wasn’t necessary and therefore left out. It is really easy to overdo a production and get lost in all the fun little things you can add to a particular recording when in reality all it needs to do is speak for itself. Sonically I wanted these songs to feel like Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, and Andy Shauf, three artists that I draw from often. I admire their ability to create beautiful, gut wrenching, and honest songs without overdoing the production. In addition to their lyrical style, how each one has the ability to build a story and evoke different feelings at different times when you listen with simple straight forward lyrics. The ability to describe so vividly and also hide a bit of mystery within it inspires me.”

“I never want the songs that I write to feel one-dimensional. I hope that they take new shapes over time in the listener’s ears and mind. Lifting and grounding all at the same time. “Little Apartment” has already changed so much for me since I wrote it and then so much more after it was recorded. A love song of dread and looking to the future that became a mundane reality of an always changing world.”

Spencer Thomas Smith describes himself as an artist “whose catalog is soaked in nostalgia and Appalachian rain,” and while it may be pouring and storming outside, it’s warm and dry within the confines of his “Little Apartment.”

A standout song in its own right, “Little Apartment” is the last single taken off Smith’s forthcoming third album Gas Station Blue, due out the first week of March. “My goal for this album and single was for it to feel light and grooving, like sipping a tequila on the beach or driving down a dark road with a cigarette out the window,” he says. “Taking Influences from Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, and Andy Shauf to create a simple emotion and memorable tone.”

Whether you’re listening to sip or to drown your emotions, “Little Apartment” is an instantly memorable folk serenade and an easy reason to fall fast for Spencer Thomas Smith.

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“Little Apartment” – Spencer Thomas Smith

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Little Apartment - Spencer Thomas Smith

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