Generifus, “No Surprise”

Spencer Davis

photo by Paul Elliott Williams

Though meaningful in hindsight, much in life seems accidental when examined moment-to-moment. Spencer Sult, the songwriter behind Olympia, WA’s Generifus, has worked hard to find meaning in the errata of the two years since the release of his last full-length, Back In Time. His latest single, “No Surprise”—equal parts The Microphones intricacy and sparkly country-rock twang—is full of small moments made grand and meaningful by means of careful, generous songwriting.

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“No Surprise” can be read as a metaphor for Sult’s personal life. Wrist injuries sustained from a combination of skateboarding and kitchen work have recombined with the artist’s gig in a record store whose PA often spilled out voices from the folk rock constellation to produce his new sound, more reliant on his voice than guitar, piano, and River Nason’s delicate drumwork to provide melodic structure. “A picture on the wall / a sunset on the shore / a house without a door;” nuggets of memory nestle in the space between Sult’s bright chords, providing structure to a memory that feels far richer than those mere flashes. Like the skateboarding injury that found its way into an indie record, the trivial moments upon which Sult dwells find themselves lovingly memorialized in the warm, communal tones of folk-rock.

“No Surprise”‘s vitality is itself unsurprising—Sult wrote it as part of a monthlong song-a-day project upon which Generifus embarked. It’s Sult’s interest in life’s mundanities that made the project possible, and the care that his outlook requires is laid bare on “No Surprise”.

The track, the lead single from Extra Bad, Generifus’s new LP out September 1, is streaming below.

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