Album cover for Spencer Hiemstra's album Wildlife, pictures Hiemstra standing in a forest with brown and green ferns and orange-leaved trees.

Spencer Hiemstra’s album artwork for Wildlife / Image via @spencerhiemstra on Instagram

Nanaimo folk musician Spencer Hiemstra released his debut solo album Wildlife on December 11. He describes his album as singer-songwriter style folk music, but with the addition of fuller sounds like horns and keyboard.

“Growing up I found that I resonated a lot with music that I found local, and I think that’s something that influenced my music,” he said.

His album is perfect to listen to on a rainy west-coast day relaxing at home, or when driving across the Island in the summer months. Wildlife consists of eight songs that are relatable for anyone going through a change in their life.

“I started writing it in October of 2019 and the songs are representative of the year I’ve had. The album is a lot about the life journey and making big life decisions—as I’ve had to make some big ones this year,” he said.

The title of the album, Wildlife, represents making those big, scary life decisions. The album ponders what impacts the decisions we make today will have on us later in life. The emphasis on lyrics creates clear images for the listener and the acoustic sounds build a warm and comforting atmosphere.

His website states that “his lyrics take inspiration from the geography of the Island and the endless ocean surrounding him. Spending much of his time playing in local rock bands such as Maverick Cinema and Pacific Colours, his new music has a simplistic folk sound.”

As a student in my mid-twenties, I know all too well the worries about making a wrong decision in life! I enjoy that I can relate to each song on his album, and the journey he’s on. It’s a great listen. Wildlife is available on all streaming platforms—such as Spotify and Apple Music —and can also be found on his website.


Kaleigh Studer is a third-year Creative Writing Major and the new Arts Editor of the Navigator. She grew up in Nanaimo and loves all the opportunities the west coast has to offer. Mountain biking, swimming, traveling and brewery hopping are some of her favourite activities with friends. After living in Berlin for two years her passion and a keen eye for art and culture grew. She is excited to be searching out local stories and events taking place in Nanaimo.

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