Brittney Spencer listened to a recent performance of one of her breakup anthems and heard it in a whole new way, stripping it down to get a stunning version that showcases her powerful vocals.
During a recent conversation with iHeartRadio, Spencer said she aims to pen music about “anything that feels real to me.” She released “better as friends” in late 2022, and on Tuesday (March 28), debuted a stripped-down version that she performed during a concert series as she teamed up with Silk almond milk (watch Spencer's full performance below). She sings: “Here's to the guy I'll never remеmber/ Here's to thе flame that burned mediocre/ Those do me wrongs I can never get over/ Hell we were over 'fore we even began/ Yeah we're better as friends/ We'll never see again.”
“I love, now, throwing my own life experiences into songs,” Spencer told iHeartRadio of her songwriting. She writes about “things that I feel, things that I’ve learned. I kind of like to take whatever’s…in the back of my mind or in the back of my heart, and kind of just pull it to the forefront.”
Spencer’s honesty in her songwriting craft and her soulful delivery on stage has strongly connected with audiences, as she tours with iconic country artists and performs at legendary venues. Spencer noted the unforgettable experiences when her music relates to her fans on an emotional level: “I like when people will tell me that they felt a certain way, you know? Like, I said something that resonated with them, that they usually feel or thought, but they don’t always like to share with other people. But they felt it when they heard me sing it.”
Spencer — formerly a juice bar barista who remembered serving other powerhouses country artists like Kacey Musgraves and Ryan Hurd — is known for songs like “a hundred years old,” “Sober & Skinny,” “Compassion,” “better as friends,” and other unforgettable releases. Since coming onto the scene in 2020, the singer-songwriter’s list of milestone moments include her Grand Ole Opry debut (and subsequent performances), getting to perform with The Highwomen — made up of Maren Morris, Brandi Carlile, Amanda Shires and Natalie Hemby — after the quartet heard Spencer’s stunning rendition of one of their songs on Twitter, performing on tour with legends like Willie Nelson and Reba McEntire, and more — all before she’s released a debut album.
“It’s an indescribable feeling,” Spencer said of live performances. “It’s really interesting seeing how my music translates on all the different stages. It makes me feel, it definitely makes me feel way more confident about my artistry. I’m starting to really take in just how hard it is to stand on any of those stages and to just share your heart and share your songs. I’m really grateful for that. I’m having a good time, and it’s an honor to get to share my music.
“…I still feel really new,” she added later. “I starting breaking onto the scene back in 2020. I’m still — I haven’t even released my first album yet, (but) I am this year — I still feel really new, but I’m starting to feel a little worn in, as well, which is nice. It makes me feel like I’m actually acclimating to the changes in my life. Three years ago, I was sitting on my couch writing songs. Now, I’m still sitting on my couch writing songs, but now I’m sharing them, not just online, but I’m sharing them in front of hundreds, sometimes thousands of people. It’s wild.”
Part of prepping for life on the road means planning ahead for healthy breakfasts while she’s touring. Spencer aims for energizing options reminiscent of her juice bar days, crafting açaí bowls and smoothies. The key, she said, is carving out the time to make breakfast and eat it, rather than throwing something together on the go (or, on tour, finding places to stop to buy a breakfast smoothie or anything else that’s “an essential on the road”).
Spencer’s go-to breakfast is blending an açaí bowl with some blackberries, mangoes and almond milk. She shared how she makes one, topping it off with strawberries, granola and a drizzle of honey (she exclaimed as she took the first bite, “this is fire!”). Afterward, she performed a stunning version of “better as friends,” with only two instrumentalists behind her, rather than a full band, and “it was really cool to be able to hear that song in the way. …it was cool to get to do the song a little differently, and to be able to share it with friends, as well.”
Now, Spencer is gearing up for another year of touring, including upcoming shows with Nelson and other soon-to-be-announced highlights. Until then, listen to Spencer’s stripped-down version of “better as friends,” and listen to the original version of the song again below.