When she left her hometown of New York City, Sye Elaine Spence wasn’t sure what she was searching for. “There was something in me that wanted something else,” she said. “I always wanted to explore.” Her early musical output was influenced by the metropolis, but she wasn’t always comfortable performing the R&B/pop songs that came out of her time in Queens. Spence is a quiet type, and she possesses a voice that is best appreciated with few frills surrounding it.
When she moved down South—staying out in the country with her grandmother—the singer linked up with Michael Lesousky and began crafting songs of a very different sort. The stripped-down folk that has emerged since has a crystalline, porcelain quality to it, centered and anchored around Spence’s magnificent voice.
The vibes are out in force on her Bloom EP, so when Spence told us she was coming back to NYC last month, we got together to hear if they transferred to the live show. In a word, yes: thanks to the good people at Gibson Guitars, Spence blew us away with a take of one of her most recent releases, “Repeat,” in one of the Gibson studios. Watch the performance above, and revisit Bloom below.