Despite being just 16 years old, Alex Spencer has amassed a significant and rapidly growing DIY following, his natural charisma and crowd-pleasing indie pop drawing in the masses while busking on the streets of Manchester. Now, having recently signed with essential indie label Modern Sky, the mercurial talent has released his fizzy debut single, ‘A Night To Waste’.

Brimming with pent-up suburban energy, ‘A Night To Waste’ is an ode to youth and its enormous sense of possibility: that mid-teen feeling of standing upon the edge of the rest of your life. Its chorus is brilliant — a bold, anthemic tale of seeing all your mates smashed, arms around shoulders, favourite tunes blasting, going out and never coming back.

It’s hardly reinventing the wheel, but Spencer’s obvious excitement at these prospects — reflected in his smart, colloquial lyrics and passionate vocal performance — makes them feel alive and infectious.

Reflecting on the track, Spencer explains, “It’s about the life of a teenager who wants to live their life a little and get out of the same old boring suburb… It’s the same for so many people my age, especially after all the setbacks we’ve had over the past few years with lockdowns stopping us in our tracks.”

This sense of almost urgent desperation to live — both after the tedium of lockdown and the tightrope of high school — oozes across the track, with Spencer’s bandmates supporting him with insistent guitars and dynamic drums.

What’s most impressive about ‘A Night To Waste’ is how evocative it is despite its broad appeal and universal themes: there’s something that sounds really personal about Spencer’s delivery, something winning about its overall feel.

Maybe it’s that it sounds exactly like the bit in one of those rags to riches films where the small-time busker gets the superstar producer treatment and suddenly all that energy is plugged into the gloss and the high-tech of stardom. Maybe it’s just the quality of the performance. ‘A Night To Waste’ is a song that will throw you straight back to yearning for ‘the place where hope is found’ — hopefully Spencer will stay there for a long time.