Cold Specks

St. Matthew's Church, Halifax, NS, October 20

By Randi BeersDepending on how you look at it, Cold Specks could be the most appropriate musical act for St. Matthew's Church. But she could also be the least fitting.

Al Spx's instrument is her voice. She spent most of the show amplified by her microphone, but at times, she would step away from the mic and let her voice project through the church on the merit of its own power. To hear her recorded voice is to think of how good she would sound in a church — she sings like a woman possessed.

There were also moments of irony when she would sing the words, "I am, I am a god-damned believer" in the song "Blank Maps" or introduce songs such as the one about a love affair with Satan that she jokingly dubbed an "ode to Satan."

Spx seemed a bit self-conscious about how all of her songs were downers and injected an a cappella version of the theme from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air into the middle of her set. After singing about half the song to an enthusiastic stomping and clapping crowd, she stopped and dove right back into her own repertoire.

Spx bookended her set with two a cappella versions of traditional songs. The last song was sung without even the help of her mic.

Those who had the opportunity to see Spx showcase her voice and her dark, beautiful hymns at St. Matthew's Church can consider themselves very lucky. It was something special.

To see Exclaim!'s Halifax Pop Explosion photo gallery, courtesy of Lindsay Duncan, head here.

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