It’s not often that we come across an artist with a debut single as impressive as Will Spencer’s single Misty Rain. We’ve been taking many many listens to this glorious genre-crossing track here at the Send Me Your Ears studio today and we’re just blown away.
When we first sat down to make notes on this song, the first thing we were drawn to was the depth Spencer’s warm and smooth baritone vocals. We were just about to write about Spencer as an outstanding baritone when all of a sudden he bursts into some spectacular falsetto with the most amazing control. By this point, we’d scratched out the word baritone and changed it to “incredible vocal range and control”. This is a range that we’ve seen so rarely in a vocalist that we had to hit repeat many many times. The vocals in this track are well compressed, ensuring that there are no volume changes between the low and high notes and honestly, this track could be used as a lesson in how to use compression to good effect.
Once we’d picked up our jaws from the floor and shaken off a few goosebumps, we managed to make some more notes! The layered vocals are well placed and sit nicely in the mix, and the piano fills sit perfectly between the vocal melodies.
We particularly like the trade off solo section between the piano and the electric guitar, with some great use of fuzz guitar to add some real character to the track. There’s some wonderful legato in the solo and some perfect note choices.
The piano has just the right amount of reverb on it to make it sit distant in the track which makes for a great fade out with the repeated pattern on piano disappearing into the distance.
We’re always suckers for some slightly jazzy drums and the brush work on Misty Rain adds to a real smooth and gentle feel as it flows along.
Considering that this is both a) a debut single and b) home produced we are really quite taken aback. Perhaps a tiny cut in the vocals around 700-800Hz will make a slight improvement. Perhaps a shelf boost of the top 3 octaves with an additional boost around 4kHz will help to add some extra definition and air and will compliment the brush work on the snare.
Spencer cites the album Grace by Jeff Buckley as inspiration. Not an album we were familiar with, so we’ve just had a quick listen and now we have two new favourites today! Thank you so much, Will, for introducing us to this album as well as your music!
This is, quite possibly, the best debut single we’ve ever reviewed. A song about feeling numb when you know you should be happy but you can’t explain why, it addresses the mental health crisis that has been exacerbated by the pandemic as well as displaying some incredible vocal gymnastics, superb songwriting and classy musicianship.
An easy five stars for this song. If we could give it six we would. Will Spencer has an incredible career ahead of him and we simply cannot wait to hear what’s next.