Spottiswoode and His Enemies

Spottiswoode & His Enemies: Wild Goosechase Expedition landed on several best of 2011 lists, was nominated by the Independent Music Awards for Best Eclectic Album of the year and one of the songs, “Chariot” won the Independent Music Award for Best Adult Contemporary Song of 2011.  The album also won the Vox Populi (fan-determined popular vote) Award. For more information, please click here.

Cover Art: Alexander Gorlizki

Deli Best of NYC 2011:  “4. Spottiswoode & His Enemies  Maybe you haven’t heard yet, but Spottiswoode & His Enemies have been quietly channeling New York’s late night spirit for well over a decade now. The band knows how to tell a story, because they’ve probably lived it before you had your first drink. With a voice carving a space between Warren Zevon and Ian dury, singer/songwriter Young Spott’s work takes you on a journey to a place inhabitated by hedonism and romance, but few regrets.”

New York Music Daily:  The Fifty Best Albums of 2011.  “9. Spottiswoode – Wild Goosechase Expedition. The literate art-rocker’s critique of the perils of life during wartime is spot-on and amusing as well. This sprawling, psychedelic, Beatlesque effort is a career best, and the band is scorching.”

Peter Chianca, Gatehouse News   21 awesome albums you may have missed in 2011: “18) “Wild Goosechase Expedition,” Spottiswoode and His Enemies: An ambitious, far-reaching 17-track song cycle — rife with elements of jazz, folk, Broadway and Leonard Cohen-style poetic musings — that may be nothing short of an analogy for life itself.”

Photo: Jeff Forney

Click here to hear Spottiswoode & His Enemies on SoundcheckJohn Schaefer, WNYC (October, 2011) “The English born singer-songwriter Jonathan Spottiswoode has been one of New York’s more colorful band leaders for more than a decade”

Time Out New York “You can hear songwriter Spottiswoode’s English origins in his accent, which sounds like a roughed-up version of Ray Davies. Similarly, the music suggests such messy Brit romantics as Syd Barrett and Art Brut.”

The New Yorker (April, 2012)  “Spottiswoode & His Enemies. The theatrical and eclectic composer and musician Jonathan Spottiswoode gathers his collaborators for a late-night show of gospel-inflected sounds destined to run, appropriately, into Easter Sunday. Among the featured singers will be the standout rhythm-and-blues artist Martha Redbone.

The New Yorker (October, 2011)  “Spottiswoode & His Enemies begin a monthlong Sunday residency [at the Living Room]…and it’ll take about a month to explore the many facets of Jonathan Spottiswoode’s music.”


The Daily Vault, Jason Warburg  “If you mixed the laconic, cheeky British cool of Ian Hunter with the brooding urbanity of Leonard Cohen, added the balls-out Broadway showmanship of Bat Out Of Hell composer Jim Steinman, and sprinkled it all with the self-deprecating panache of James Bond, you might emerge with Jonathan Spottiswoode’s less interesting twin brother, because he’s clearly more demented than that.”  “Spottiswoode has a real knack for writing smart memorable catchy pop tunes that could easily appeal to millions of listeners.”

Dingus  “Seventeen tracks of diamond studded song writing,…”

Stephen Carradini/Independent Clauses  “A brilliant overview of pop music….fascinating…From the get-go, Spottiswoode pummels listeners with hook after hook..”

Pete Chianca, Popdose  “It’s a good bet that whoever says there’s no such thing as an original idea — in music or otherwise — has not taken a good close listen to Spottiswoode…Theatrical rock adventures…with elements of jazz, folk, Broadway and Leonard Cohen-style poetic musings… on I’d Even Follow You to Philadelphia, Spottiswoode croaks out what may be the best love song ever to channel the spirit of W.C. Fields….In an era of popular music that’s invariably pre-packaged and easily labeled, “Wild Goosechase Expedition is a small miracle — and a trip worth taking. Pack your bug spray.”

Heaven Magazine, Pieter Wijnstekers  “Since we spotted the phenomenal Brit operating out of New York, Jonathan Spottiswoode, five years ago (then with multi-instrumentalist Riley McMahon as S&M) we have been a fan of this determined Englishman. He consistently proves his knowledge of the classics (from Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen to Van Morrison and Ray Davies) and seamlessly adds a new spin to it. With his supporting band, His Enemies, Spottiswoode explores the more folk/pop-type elements of his music on the new “Wild Goosechase Expedition,” which is supported by beautiful (wind instrument) arrangements and perfectly fitting rock-like beats. It gives the long, four-piece concept album a very unique character that – as you can see by the somewhat “Sgt. Pepper” looking cover – could be given homage to the Beatles, but musically it goes its own direction with little Beatle-esque qualities.”

Oliver di Place “…Bo Diddley beats, chiming guitars, jazzy excursions, even some things that border on world music from an unknown tribe. Spottiswoode ties all of this together with his vocals. He sings in a slightly scratchy baritone, and he is one of the most passionate singers I know of. “

Aimee Mandle,  iSPY Magazine “After listening to the album several times through, I couldn’t help but think that this should have been the soundtrack to Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous.”

Adler Bloom, American Pancake “The most whimsical piece on the record is the title track Wild Goosechase Expedition. It is a dynamic full tilt nightmare waltz of a song that feels at times, like a dixieland jazz band falling down the stairs. It is charming, funny, inventive and feels like a sound track to some Tim Burton movie….Wild Goosechase Expedition ends with You Won’t Forget Your Dream that is appropriately dreamy in tone. It also rocks like hell and the last third of the song has a blustery incredible trumpet solo and then an over the top response by piano that absolutely raises the bar. It is a fitting end to a spectacular album.”

EA’s Brain “Spottiswoode and His Enemies move seamlessly from Leonard Cohen style folk singing to Nick Cave style dark post-punk to humorous Randy Newman style lounge songs. Sometimes all of these transitions take place in one song.”

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