NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

Cold Specks On World Cafe

Play associated audio

Cold Specks is the stage name of 23-year-old Canadian-bred singer-songwriter Al Spx, but it's not as if "Al Spx" isn't a pseudonym itself; she created the moniker out of respect for her parents, who don't approve of her music career. The London-based singer started Cold Specks as a small acoustic project to showcase her soulful voice and thoughtful lyrics, but it's only grown from there.

When producer Jim Anderson heard her work, he approached Spx to collaborate and produce a full-length album. Anderson put a small band around her to help accentuate her poignant sound. Cold Specks' debut single, "Holland," was released last year to rave reviews, and earned her a high-profile label contract.

Earlier this year, Cold Specks released its debut album, I Predict a Graceful Expulsion. Though comparisons to other British soul singers — Adele, Amy Winehouse — are inevitable, the project is rooted in a much deeper, darker blues sound.

In this World Cafe interview, WXPN's David Dye talks to Spx about the challenges she faced recording her first album, overcoming stage fright and transitioning from a solo acoustic artist to leader of a six-piece band.

Copyright 2012 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit


Marlon James Wins Man Booker Prize

James is the first Jamaican author to win the prestigious literary award, for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. It's based on a real 1976 assassination attempt on reggae star Bob Marley.
WAMU 88.5

Behind America's Seasonal Crush On Pumpkin

This year, a national shortage of the orange squash threatens to derail America's favorite seasonal obsession.

WAMU 88.5

Ta-Nehisi Coates On Race, Justice And Finding A Voice In Local D.C.

Few writers and public intellectuals command an audience like one currently following Ta-Nehisi Coates. But long before Coates' thoughts shaped nationwide conversations about race, justice and the black experience in America, he found his voice as a young writer in local D.C. and in the city where he grew up, Baltimore.


Twitter's Suspension of Sports Media Revives Debate Over Fair Use

Twitter is going after news media that share highlights of U.S. football games without sports organizations' permission. The move shines a spotlight on the notion of fair use of copyrighted content.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.