Spencer LaJoye makes queer indie folk music for everyone.
With a coy smile, a wink to the back row, and carefree expertise, they spin their crystalline vocals through a loop pedal while strumming the weathered acoustic guitar they acquired for leading worship in high school. “I don’t believe in much anymore,” they announce to teary-eyed audiences, “except a little bit of everything. And you. And me. And that art can change the world simply by making us feel something.”
LaJoye is an East Coast singer/songwriter with Midwest roots, a classically-trained violinist with a proclivity for Broadway vocals, and a student of Americana music with a theology degree hanging in their studio. They’ve been writing and touring their own autobiographical folk/pop music for over a decade, but the virality of their 2021 anthem “Plowshare Prayer” secured them a permanent place in hearts and households across the world, as well as a peculiar career as a veracious songsmith with an unshakeable pastoral presence. Charming and banter-heavy, Spencer’s live performances at theaters, listening rooms, church sanctuaries, backyards, folk festivals, spiritual conferences, and queer clubs keep diverse audiences laughing one moment and weeping the next.
Spencer has a lengthy catalog of recorded music documenting their journey from Christianity through disillusionment, the earliest EP of which won the 2014 WYCE Jammie Award for Listener’s Choice in Grand Rapids, MI. However, after coming out as gender nonbinary and finding peace as a post-Christian, Spencer changed their name and released Remember the Oxygen, a 4-song EP featuring the Denver String Machine with arrangements by China Kent. The collection includes two songs that won Spencer a place among the winners of the 2021 Kerrville New Folk Songwriting Competition.
After appearing as an official showcase artist at Folk Alliance International 2023, Spencer released Plant a Piano, a solo EP of vocally theatrical piano ballads about decay, change, and beauty. As LaJoye’s first effort following the highly-anticipated and mammoth studio recording of “Plowshare Prayer,” this stark piano EP was an invitation for eager listeners to get up close and personal with Spencer and the craft of one song by one voice.
On February 16, 2024, Spencer is set to release Shadow Puppets, their first full-length album under their new name. Childhood memories, family patterns, shame, and desire form a cast of colorful characters in this 12-track, indie-folk tale of a formerly closeted queer kid from Southwest Michigan. The album was produced by Chris DuPont in Ypsilanti, MI, and is a clever synth-guided and lyric-driven departure from some of LaJoye’s more universally anthemic offerings.