Spencer McGillicutty is a co-ed indie pop group based out of Minneapolis, MN.
Featuring a rotating cast of four different lead singers, the band delivers wistful bedroom jangle pop, dreamy girl group send-ups, and ambling, tuneful folk with equal aplomb.
Their third album "All The Happy People!" is due out May 15, 2012.
Ryan Smith - Vocals, Guitar
Brittany Miller - Vocals
Nicole Wilder - Vocals
Mitchell Johnson - Vocals, Guitar, and Piano
Jeff Engholm - Bass
Peter Johnson - Drums
Tyler Tholl - Guitar, Percussion, keyboard
2006: Spencer McGillicutty [Self-Titled]
2009: Games [US Edition]
2010: Games [Japan Bonus Tracks]
2012: All The Happy People!
2010: Fastcut Records (Japan) - Overdose of Joy - "Hide and Seek"
2010: ABDDEFG* Records (Japan) - Merci Magazine #3 - "In My Arms Again"
You Haunt Me
1944 (Think Of Me)
In My Arms Again
Secret Best Friend
Hanging Around with Jane
An Act of Contrition
Hide and Seek
It's Easy to Fall in Love
Twin Cities Roll Call: Spencer McGillicutty
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Monday, August 13th The immaculate sock-hop-ready '60s bubblegum pop of local quartet Spencer McG...Monday, August 13th
The immaculate sock-hop-ready '60s bubblegum pop of local quartet Spencer McGillicutty has inexplicably not generated much buzz here in the Twin Cities as of yet, but they're big in Japan—no, seriously. Tonight's Triple Rock Social Club show is a "Japanese" album release party for the band's sophomore album, "Games," which is seeing release in the land of the rising sun courtesy of one of the country's hottest indie labels, Fastcut Records.
Big hooks and a charmingly retro lyrical approach ("That girl kisses boys she doesn't even know!") power the albums 13 tracks of hand-clap friendly jangle-pop adorned with the kind of cute touches (dollops of xylophone, brassy blasts of baritone sax) rarely heard since Phil Spector's heyday. Modern music so steeped in nostalgia is rarely this delightfully irresistible.
Spencer McGillicutty/The School
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I recently bought the much-analyzed She and Him record on a whim. I like it. I like a lot, actually....I recently bought the much-analyzed She and Him record on a whim. I like it. I like a lot, actually. It has a great mid- to late-60s AM radio feel and while celebrity singer Zooey Deschanel's voice is quite tricked up by heavy reverb, it has a nice natural matter-of-fact feel. And really amazing songs. However, the record ultimately makes me miss, Essex Green, who did the same thing a little better and a lot earlier. That's just a six-sentence way of saying that these two releases — Games, by Spencer McGillicutty and Loveless Unbeliever by School — cut the same path as She and Him. They're both boppy and light. They could have deftly provided music for Chip's senior prom on the television show My Three Sons. (That's a subgenre in search of a label.) Of the two groups, Spencer McGillicutty, of Minneapolis, has a little better songwriting chops — I hear a bit of Carole King in here, mixed with a healthy dose of the brilliant San Francisco band the Corner Laughers. And, gotta say it, there's a lot of Carpenters going on here. "An Act of Contrition," the opening track, brings the Karen hard, as does "Telephone Signals." Beyond that, Spencer McGillicutty rocks out a bit (the utterly catchy "It's Easy to Fall in Love" and "Secret Best Friend") and turns in a gem of a tune in the introspective and garage-band-like "Claire Carnaby." In all, the four-piece outfit (which had help from 18 contributors chiming in on the glockenspiel and French horn, among other instruments), has released a fine record. The School, from Wales, might be a bit more engaging of the two bands, perhaps an assemblage that's more radio-friendly thanks to the airy production of singer Liz Hunt's rangy melodies. The entire record is punchy, bouncy, happy, beautiful. "Is He Really Coming Home?" hearkens gorgeously to 1971 AM radio (the trumpets make it sound like the Brooklyn Bridge and Hunt sings like a cooler Melanie). Throughout, the piano and acoustic guitars mesh perfectly in a sort of folk-overeager pop mash up. The highlight: "I Love Everything," a simple 1-minor 6th-4-5 that's heartbreaking and gripping at the same time. While I still miss Essex Green, I hope these bands don't mind being in the same sentence as them. It's a compliment, one that I hope Deschanel will recognize as unadulterated praise as well.
(Spencer review is halfway down the page.)
Phillips: A bit of (musical) history repeated
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While pointing out some of the artists I'd discovered during online forays a few weeks ago, I highli...While pointing out some of the artists I'd discovered during online forays a few weeks ago, I highlighted "In My Arms Again" by the Minneapolis-based pop band Spencer McGillicutty as one of my favorite new tracks.
A couple of weeks later, Ryan Smith, the band's guitarist/vocalist e-mailed me to ask if I'd like a copy of their sophomore album, "Games," to get a broader picture of the band. Never one to turn down free schwag, I agreed.
When it arrived, I was blown away by the band's brilliantly nouveau take on late '50s/early '60s doo-wop. Song after song features pristine vocal harmonies and infectiously orchestrated melodies that would have sounded at home at an "American Bandstand" sock hop. Also, co-lead vocalist Brittany Miller is scarily reminiscent of Carole King, whom I love.
I'm admittedly a fan of brainless electro-pop artists such as Dragonette and Shiny Toy Guns, but I have more respect for bands such as Spencer McGillicutty, who avoid using technological crutches like Auto-Tune.
Bands like that are musical anachronisms. They produce new music that, by dint of evolutionary momentum, should sound completely outmoded. Instead, they're so completely vested in paying homage that they manage to be simultaneously familiar and fresh, which is simultaneously obnoxious and illogical.
Here are some other examples of musical anachronisms and the styles they revisit:
* The Carolina Chocolate Drops (antebellum Piedmont string-band music)
* The Darkness (stadium rock/glam metal)
* Christabel and The Jons (swing jazz)
* Bug GiRL (hard rock)
* Justin Townes Earle (Hank Williams-era country)
Listening to these artists, you end up feeling a bit like Marty McFly, since these new releases would probably resonate with your parents or grandparents. Then again, they say fashion is cyclical, so why not music?
Spencer McGillicutty – Games (Spencer House Records) – March 24 2010
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Well, this is fun. Spencer McGillicuty and his band of willing helpers are in awe of the girl groups...Well, this is fun. Spencer McGillicuty and his band of willing helpers are in awe of the girl groups of the ‘60s, Carole King, Beach Boys harmonies and killer tunes. A massive dose of exquisite pop music that should be ruling whatever charts it comes into contact with. Unfortunately, life’s unfair and you’re unlikely to stumble upon Spencer’s gang on a Top 40 radio station anytime soon. Instead you’re going to have to make a little effort and track down their debut record, Games. Honestly, you wont be sorry. Their old-school approach to pop music is charming and full of joyful respect for a style that went out of fashion sometime in the mid-‘60s. If any of the above piques your curiosity, or you’ve pleasing memories of the glory days of Mari Wilson, take a stroll over to their MySpace home and wallow long and hard in some of the most lovingly crafted pop you’ll have heard in a long time.
Spencer McGillicutty: Games [Album Review]
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Spencer McGillicutty is a pop group with a retro edge. Their unquestionably complex, catchy melodies...Spencer McGillicutty is a pop group with a retro edge. Their unquestionably complex, catchy melodies and co-ed vocals hint of the pop of the 1950s and ’60s. Games is their sophomore release and on it they go slightly acoustic with excellent tracks like “In My Arms Again” and “Secret Best Friend”. Like the pop music of half-a-century ago, this band creates music that is highly upbeat.
Spencer McGillicutty’s multi-faceted orchestration is tambourine-heavy and features jangly guitars, an occasional horn section. If you dig the carefree pop of the 60s, with a predilection toward girl-groups of that era, you’ll easily fall in love with “Hide And Seek” and, not surprisingly, “It’s Easy To Fall In Love”. Backed by orchestration provided slew of friends, this quartet has been dubbed The cutest band in the land, and their music is fits that statement perfectly.
Spencer McGillicutty "Games"
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Spencer McGillicutty hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play some very lovely pop songs that ha...Spencer McGillicutty hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play some very lovely pop songs that have well thought out arrangements. The band features a total of four primary members although the album features an army of 18 additional contributors. The vocals in the songs are very pleasant and in many of them they include the voices from most or all primary members of the band. The vocal styles are quite professional as they remind me a lot of Beach Boys, Elliott Smith, Ben Folds Five and Belle + Sebastian. With such a display, Spencer McGillicutty could be perceived as overachievers or perfectionists.
Instruments included on the album include: acoustic guitar, harmonica, electric guitar, piano, bass, keyboard, trumpet, trombone, tambourine, Hammond organ, glockenspiel, vibraphone, accordion, timpani, tubular bells, wind chimes, triangle, congas, cowbell, sleigh bells, xylophone, slide guitar, vibraslap, shakers, castanets, claves, wood block, drums, baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, viola, French horn, flute, oboe, clarinet.
Goo Goo Dolls, Spencer McGillicutty, Bill Tucker.
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[This review was in Japanese. They rate us "4 Good Times." We think that's on a four-point scale, bu...[This review was in Japanese. They rate us "4 Good Times." We think that's on a four-point scale, but we're not entirely sure. We used Google Translate to guess at what they said...]
Comments: Guitar pop is refreshing and pleasant I played guitar and vibraphone in a beautiful bright and sonorous tone. Fit well with the atmosphere of a pop song dressed in girls 60s. A chest tightens and sweetness and nostalgia, let me listen to the album was played as a unified and Paburugamu sweet taste.
Spencer McGillicutty -- album GAMES
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[This review was originally in Japanese. We used Google Translate for an entertaining stumble-throug...[This review was originally in Japanese. We used Google Translate for an entertaining stumble-through of Hiroho's enthusiastic review:]
First, it must be convinced that the table in good jacket.
And a tri-fold opens to Patapatatsu, zowie zowie, I can see a sound never before heard good anymore. What a nice jacket for a more - oh. CD deck immediately. Jake is back in a few seconds before goes off. IVY FOW and the return of the thrill I felt when the first hand. Show a surge for the explosion of American pop in my thoughts. First of all, I'm fond of the band name first Noo! Something feels nostalgic?
Band of four men and women but I think has a solo artist name.
Nicole Wilder, Brittany Miller two female vocal, and the other two men, Ryan Ruff Smith acoustic gtr, harmonica to Vo, and in charge of many different instruments, Mitchell Johnson.
Who sent me this CD is Mitchell.
Are you doing on MySpace and frontman Ryan, Ryan is now trying to communicate. Mitchell also thanked. What a chance meeting or a meeting inevitable, Series Two Records introduced me, I heard from Chris. Thanks, Chris!
And, finally, the sound begins to flow.
There already was a world of dream pop.
The Carpenters, the Beach Boys.
Maybe because I'm not a real-time generation, very, very nostalgic sound of the people affected by such contrary.
BMX Bandits. Rather than BMX Bandits, Superstar, and Joe's.
Come now, I'm it - American Pop!
I want what these sounds came from the United States hear a lot of Japanese one'll just be taken - or why Pipettes. Speaking but until then I try to do the Japanese Rashii not something trendy, something happens to say that this kind of sound American, they feel at home.
Jellyfish! ! !
Suwandaibu! ! !
Alex Chilton! ! !
Yes, we will continue even now I'm going all the time but I love American pop!
Into that kind of dream world just to hear from American pop I like that all the time.
Dent horns while gently wrapping, floating in the breeze like a violin, piano shimmer.
Chorus work is wonderful too!
It's a really self-release?
I can not believe it.
That’s the beauty of this is independent.
WE LOVE POP MUSIC FOREVER!!
Up Half the Night
That Makes Two of Us
An Act of Contrition
I Could Love Anyone
In My Arms Again
Secret Best Friend
It's Not Over [Acoustic]
Cautious Love [Acoustic]
Wish I Was Your Girl
ENCORE: He's a Rebel (Crystals Cover)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.