Glasser’s debut Ring pulled me in immediately with its unearthly quality. The album resides in its own little world of lush synthesizers, tribal drums, twitchy programming and ethereal vocals. Released in September by True Panther Records, Ring was born of vocalist Cameron Mesirow’s minimalist, self-made EP and fleshed out with producer Ariel Rechtshaid. The album title refers to “chiasmus”, which, according to Wikipedia, means a phrase with two clauses that have the opposite structure from each other, such as “you haven’t, haven’t you?” (pronoun, contracted verb, contracted verb, pronoun). The lyrics are mostly very abstract so it’s hard to get a sense of that reflective quality from the words, but musically, there are definitely recurring themes. I would argue that one minor downside of the album is that if I listen to the songs out of order, (as I am forced to do in the car, due to my broken iPod), I find myself questioning whether I’ve heard certain songs already.
The opening track “Apply” offers incantatory, echoing vocals on top of tribal drumming and plodding synthesized chords. It builds in moody emphasis with hiccuping, knocking sounds, and background voices chattering, and stands out on the album for its mesmerizing melody. Against the stark background, it’s simple and affecting much like a Bat For Lashes song.
“T” creates a very dreamy, soothing space with its repeated ascending and descending notes on the keyboard, and light tambourine. Behind the lush vocal is a consistent rocking sound that adds to the mellowing, pleasing feel of the song, as does the cooing lyric, “I will cut all the blooooms…To decorate your rooooom”.
Another key track is “Plane Temp” which has an uplifting, peaceful chorus of Enya-like vocal layers. There is a tapping percussion sound throughout the song that creates an energetic scurrying feel, and this is a nice contrast to the peaceful vocals. In a good example of the unexpected little twists throughout the album, “Plane Temp” winds down into a mysterious, creaky ending that leaves the listener a little uneasy. I do like a little disquietude in my pretty music. Hopefully, Glasser will perform in our neighborhood soon.
Album image via Amazon