Although now settled in Los Angeles, Spencer Hoffman’s debut EP, A Flower From Behind, is in many ways an album inspired by an itinerant lifestyle, a collection of songs dreamt up while moving up and down the Pacific Coast. Despite this being his solo debut, Spencer has already spent a decade of his life on the road, after forming the band Honyock with his brother and high-school friends, when he was aged just 16. The band would go on to share stages with the likes of The Dodos, Anna Burch and Surfer Blood, all before Spencer decided to pursue his own material. Ahead of A Flower From Behind’s release this Friday, via Park The Van, today Spencer is premiering the title track.
Discussing the track, Spencer has suggested it’s a reflection on the ambiguity of meaning and experience, as he explains, “We are even a mystery to ourselves. We feel so much and don’t know why. Act against our own self interest. This song is a kind of meditation in untangling my life from my own perspective, but recognizing the futility in that as well“. The song title appears towards the close, when the imagery of forlorn matadors and spiralling bullets give way to a sense of sad serenity, “peace be with your troubled mind, you know nothing but from behind, a flower but from behind”.
Like much of the EP, A Flower From Behind seems almost out of touch with modern musical trends, leaning more on the twin influences of romantic poetry and the American folk tradition. It inhabits a musical space of finger-picked guitars, dreamy multi-tracked vocals and just a touch of the cosmic tendencies of 1970s psych-folk. Particularly wonderful is the break-down where the soaring organ and meandering bass take the song off on a completely different path, like throwing open the curtains to find the world entirely different to how you left it the night before. While his solo career is only just starting to bloom, with his debut EP Spencer Hoffman looks like already making a strong case for being crowned best in show.