Five Minutes With: Calgary Folk Artist Spencer Jo

Canadian artist Spencer Jo isn’t interested in sugarcoating things. In fact, they spent much of their musical life searching for sour truth and throwing the spotlight onto it. They’ve been in and out of punk bands since the age of 16 and the winding road has led to Spencer Jo’s current incarnation as a folk artist with a sometimes political, sometimes surreal edge that makes their social commentary poignant for anyone who listens. Their talent as an instrumentalist and lyricist is showcased in a way that keeps the music free of distracted bravado and long solos, ensuring the convictions remain at the centre of attention. The marriage of punk and folk mixes elements of artistry and honesty after all, and Spencer Jo completes this synthesis without disappointing.

Spencer Jo


Spencer Jo





# of Albums:


Latest Album:

The Water (out May 29, 2024)

Latest Single:

Quiet Violence

Latest Video:

Favourite musician growing up:

Joe Strummer

Favourite musician now:

Joe Vickers

Guilty pleasure song:

There should be no guilt in liking what you like

Live show ritual:

Show up, acclimate, write (or pretend to write), maybe a coffee, play

Favourite local musician:

No Brainer

EP or LP?

Both! But I love the long game. Give me a dozen songs that create a narrative tapestry and I will fall in love.

Early bird or night owl?

I have to wake up early most days but I’m at my best when I can enjoy the offerings of the night.

Road or studio?

Both are spiritually fulfilling, physically necessary, and emotionally draining for different reasons. Lately, however, I have been craving the summer tours because I love to sleep in my station wagon in the middle of nowhere after a gig.

Where can we follow you?

Linktree | YouTube | Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Bandcamp | Spotify | Apple Music | YouTube Music


Rapid Fire Local Questions:

What is your favourite local restaurant?

Jimmy’s A&A

What is your favourite street in your city and why?

I’ve been loving 11 St SW, lately, for all its wonderful community businesses

What is your favourite park in your city and why?

I grew up in Beaver Dam Flats Park. It’s fallen into a bit of disrepair since they found the lead contamination on the Ridge more than two decades ago. It’s kind of cool to see how nature is reclaiming a place that was so important to me as a kid.

What is your favourite music venue in your city?

The Palomino.

What is your favourite music store in your city?

My neighbourhood music store Kickaxe.


About Emilea Semancik 109 Articles
Emilea Semancik was born in North Vancouver. Emilea has always always wanted to work as a freelance writer and currently writes for the Vancouver Guardian. Taking influence from journalism culture surrounding the great and late Anthony Bourdain, she is a recipe author working towards publishing her own series of books. You can find her food blog on Instagram: