Spear prepares for debut album release

(Photo by Caleb Stanfield.)

Former Culver City resident, now based in Brooklyn, Eliza Spear is about to release her debut album Right Now, It’s Like This so the East Coast air is clearly agreeing with her. She’s sorely missed here in her hometown though, so she sat down with the CCN to discuss everything that she has going on…

It’s been a couple of years since you were last in the CCN — what have you been up to?

It has been a few years! Where to begin..I graduated college in May. I graduated with a degree in Music Production and Communications but it really feels like I graduated with an unreleased album and a laser focus on making this music thing happen for myself. I knew that I wanted this when I was 17, but the four years in North Carolina really solidified this as a life path. I made countless mistakes, ran home from class to hear a new mix sent to me, played gigs in hair salons, to 6,000 people, to three people in a backyard in Nashville. I wrote an album, and I fell in love with my creative partners. Everything I did in school felt like it was funneling me tighter into this career path. I’d write songs in business classes, travel to the depths of the internet universe to find an executives email, only to reach out with far too much confidence and without thanking them at the end of the email…ha

I’ve done some fun things, but when I think back to where I was in 2020 and where I am now, I’d say the main thing that’s happened has been that I’ve learned. I’ve learned more about myself, my sound, my brand, who I lean on, how I market, etc. My upcoming album feels entirely like, sometimes I feel it’s more me than I even am, and I know that that’s because it was written and produced throughout a time of deep inner realization, which is reflected clearly in the sonics and writing. 

What can you tell us about your new album on the way?

The album was written and recorded in Los Angeles, Nashville, North Carolina and Colorado. It was conceptualized across the country on the ‘Can I Play In Your Backyard?’ Tour, which was a cross-country tour I booked and created myself to raise 15k to produce the album in the summer of 2021. The first songs written for the record were with Andrew High, who toured with me that summer. He’s a co-writer on most of the songs, along with being one of the engineers, a multi-instrumentalist, and overall a champion of my sound and the record. When I think of this album, I think of that tour, him, and the vision we had for what has now become a reality. I played the album acoustically every night of that tour, and it’s been one of the honors of my life to be able to see these songs take on another life. 

My main collaborator, both on this album and who will be throughout my career, is Stephen Rivera. I’m lucky enough to call him a life mentor, as well as my trusted creative partner, and my beyond talented producer. Rachael Williams and Lindsay Gitter are also writers on this record, who’s talent has brought visuals and meaning to this album in ways I could have never done on my own. Doug Showalter played a large part in the first single, whom I’m grateful for and excited to actually meet in person one day (fingers crossed!). He put a lot of detail and attention into that lead single through co-producing the track with Stephen. 

How do you think you’ve evolved as a musician?

I feel really confident in who I am – both as a person and an artist. I don’t feel the need to prove or exhaust myself in attempt of getting attention or ears to my music, I just feel the need to make music and be authentic. And have fun. That’s why we’re doing this, right? I try to remind myself as often as possible that I GET to do this. Of course it’s difficult, it’s a mountain climb, but I get to climb the mountain – and I get to do it with pretty rad people who make me better and are right there to laugh with me when I fall. 

How did COVID affect the recording, if at all?

COVID actually inspired the backyard tour. Venues weren’t entirely back open yet, and I knew I needed to get in front of people to be able to hit that 15k mark. I thought if I could get a few family and friends to host me and invite some of their friends over for an outdoor listening party vibe, that we could get some fire behind it. And we did, the first leg of tour booked the second and third legs. People at the first leg of shows loved the music and wanted the show in their backyards, so we just kept touring. We packed everything into Andrew’s Tahoe and drove around for a summer, pitching a tent after the shows in a nearby campground, and then did the whole thing again the next day. I’d occasionally splurge on a motel room and we’d Doordash McDonald’s, which felt outlandishly fancy.

You’ve relocated to Brooklyn — what are you doing out there?

I’ve been busking and boxing since moving to Brooklyn. I started boxing at a nearby club and it’s since become my entire personality. I’m nowhere close to good, but I walk around like it’s in my blood.

I busk as much as I can, and it’s exactly what I need to be doing right now. I get so caught up in the numbers, in social media, in the algorithm..it’s about the music. It always has been. Busking is just about the music. It’s a person standing on a street corner singing her song because she believes in it. That’s it. I get a crowd going most times which is really fulfilling. I carry my amp, mic bag, guitar, and sign as I walk the streets of New York and struggle through the turnstiles to get on the train. I feel my back cramping, but I feel entirely like myself. I don’t know many people here, but I know I’m doing the right thing. 

What else do you have going on?

The two lead singles from the album have been released, and I’m really proud of them. Specifically the second one, which is the title track. I’ll be running around New York looking to market the album in new and fun ways, which sometimes looks like giving people donuts if they listen to my music. I’m so proud of this album and the people behind it. Let’s let it live! 12/2 album drop. 

Eliza Spear can be found at elizaspearmusic.com

Elsewhere this week

Culver City’s music venues have a full calendar of entertainment over the next four weeks. For the Cinema Bar, that includes the Hot Club of Los Angeles (every Monday), Open Mic Night every Wednesday, Tom Gramlich, Talkin Treason, Groovy Rednecks, Patrolled By Radar, and more. For more information, go to thecinemabar.com

The Culver Hotel will be hosting the likes of Sylvia & the Rhythm Boys and and Scotty Bramer. Go to culverhotel.com for more info.

The next show at Boulevard Music is the Carl Verheyen Band on Sunday, November 19. Go to boulevardmusic.com for more info.