February, 2012 / Author:

It helps to have a quirky sense of humour

Rae Spoon
In February, Winnipeg will welcome back singer-songwriter Rae Spoon, who will be promoting a sixth full-length release, entitled I Can’t Keep All Of Our secrets. Spoon, who has been performing for 14 years, started out singing country music in their (spoon uses the neutral pronoun they rather than he or she) home province of Alberta. “I was singing about regular country music stuff. Oil rigs, and you know. “Stuff like that,” they say with a laugh.

Since then, Spoon’s music has evolved to include more electronic rock elements and personal themes. Spoon’s previous album, loveisahunter, is a reflection on the queer scene, while the newest one revolves around their feelings regarding a friend who has recently passed on. “I wanted to write about grief, about the phases of grief,” Spoon says, and with a little laugh adds, “It’s kind of an upbeat dance tune about grief.”

A shy child, spoon would have never thought they would have grown up to be a performer. “There’s a very social aspect to playing music – going to places I never would have gone, met people I would have never met,” Spoon says. “I’ve always believed that anyone can write a song or a story.”

Spoon’s poetic lyrics, their surprising insights into the emotional landscape of the world around them, and their quirky sense of humour have earned them many fans here and abroad. Spoon’s work also shares a spirit that continues to defy definition and binaries. “I identify as gender retired,” they say. “I’ve tried being a woman and a man and I wasn’t good at either of them.”

“I was in burger King with my boyfriend and went to the bathroom. I saw this woman in there and we looked at each other. I said I know where I am and she started to laugh, and I started to laugh. They don’t make a surgery to give someone a sense of humour.”

Spoon will be visiting Winnipeg and performing a show on February 24 at Gio’s, with a dance party to follow – with music provided by a DJ from Montreal and Queerview’s rotation of DJs.


– Katrina Caudle is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.

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